A Derby Day defeat has seen City fall out of the Premier League title race and it has inevitably meant a thorough post-mortem on the blue half of Manchester, and all signs point towards it being a summer of major upheaval. Some of those first out the door in fact, could be those who arrived in the 2013-2014 when Manuel Pellegrini was appointed.
Avoiding the axe
Despite a disappointing start to life at City, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala will likely earn a reprieve given their recent arrivals and potential with the future in mind. It would be wrong of City to write them off at this point despite a string of underwhelming performances and difficulty in adapting to the Premier League. Mangala is full of nerves, often shaken up by minor duels and suffers from poor positioning. Bony meanwhile simply hasn’t got going, and is finding it difficult to bring his game up a level.
Together the pair commanded over €70m in transfer fee’s, and it’s unlikely they will be written off so soon.
Not so safe
Looking at City’s major signings for over €10m, it brings to the fore how poor they have worked the market. Fernando, Fernandinho, Jovetic, Negredo, Navas, Garcia, Rodwell, Nastasic, plus recent acquisitions Bony and Mangala, make up the ten players to be brought in. There could be well be a possibility only three of that group remain next season, with some already gone and others like Negredo with moves already agreed.
Fernando meanwhile has been an immense disappointment in that he was meant to reduce the over-reliance on Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, but the ex-Porto man has brought little, if anything at all, to the team. A swift move out of the club appears to be on the cards, as his laborious performances show there is little room for him at a club aiming to bring about energy and aggression.
Problems higher up
A major problem for City has been the players coming in haven’t been correct for the system Pellegrini uses, so much blame must lie at the door not only of the Chilean but the men behind the scenes engineering these moves.
Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano were brought in to great fanfare but have done little to elevate City to the next level as promised. City boasts a squad built to compete in the Premier League, and in no way shape or form the Champions League. This was on the manifesto of the pair and they have failed miserably. If anything, City look now even less of a threat in the Premier League despite the money spent.
Negredo’s loan move away and the subsequent signing of Bony optimised the mis-management. City were left with two recognised strikers for half of the season, with Aguero often injured. The other, Dzeko, can hardly be seen as reliable neither. Negredo meanwhile went back to Spain, and it wasn’t until January he was adequately replaced. Bony was no improvement though, he was just like-for-like in a sense.
The influx of Spanish-based players has backfired with none truly settling, and failing to replicate the incredible impact of David Silva.
The gifted midfielder will be one of few in a group of safe players. Joe Hart, Fernandinho, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Silva will be the group to build any new City team around – more than likely. You can add to that the pairing of Mangala and Bony. City will need to operate in a different manner however, and move for more instant quality. The likes of Silva and Aguero have been in a position of carrying the team for too long and need support. Koke and Marco Reus are the names that should be targeted: Young players, still hungry, with massive potential – but also producing now. These are the players to take City further in the Champions League.
This will be most certainly be a summer of major change at the Etihad. Most are, but the difference is this one needs to be positive, otherwise City could end up regressing despite spending heavily.