In failing to repeat their title winning triumph of the 2013/14 season last term, Manuel Pellegrini and his rapidly progressing Manchester City side ultimately proved the source of great disappointment for their supporters throughout the past campaign.
When any club in the modern era spends as much as the Citizens have done in recent transfer windows, the fans have every right to expect nothing but the best from their side. With the amount of cash that is continuously being thrown at City’s stars on a week-to-week basis in the Premier League, anything less than a first place finish and a strong run in Europe is to be considered unacceptable.
Just a few shorts seasons ago however, Manchester City supporters would have likely been more than satisfied just to see their side still competing in the English top-flight. Without the seemingly endless pots of Arab cash that continue to fund the club’s affairs behind the scenes at the Etihad, the Sky Blues wouldn’t even be offered a sniff at the title across 2015/16 – and that somewhat inconvenient notion simply must be remembered by City fans regardless of their side’s current position.
As Manchester City obviously can have a major influence on the title race next term though, with their activity in the summer transfer window likely to have a defining influence on the upcoming season, it would be simply unwise to write off Manuel Pellegrini’s star-studded outfit without giving them an honest evaluation.
So then, will the 2015/16 campaign offer a sign of improved fortunes for the Citizens going into the new season, or is the prospect of winning the Premier League title next term simply a task too far for Manchester City with all things considered?
Well, as the 2013/14 title winners eventually signed Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling this summer, making the 20-year-old the most expensive ever Englishman to ply his trade in the modern game, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are certainly making some bold statements in the transfer market.
The club’s ability to turn Fabian Delph’s previously unmovable stance in recent weeks also pays tribute to just how serious a force Manchester City have become in the past few seasons, clearly holding all the cards in each annual transfer window thanks to the magnitude of wealth on offer behind closed doors at the Etihad.
However, whether or not such stars will prove a success for Manuel Pellegrini in 2015/16 ultimately remains very much up for debate. Delph himself has already picked up a potentially damaging injury in pre-season for City this summer, yet even if he manages to restore his fitness in the run up to the first game of the new campaign, question marks still nonetheless circle around his, and Raheem Sterling’s, ability to do the business for their new club in the future.
In all honesty, both players have certainly been somewhat over-hyped throughout their journey in the Premier League – and all this talk of new home-grown stars making up the ranks at the Etihad simply remains questionable to say the very least. There is ultimately no excuse in the world that could justify Manchester City’s decision to pay £49 million for Sterling, with such a hefty transfer fee likely placing a great deal of unwanted individual pressure on the player’s own exceedingly valuable shoulders.
As finances aren’t exactly of the upmost concern at the Etihad these days however, Manchester City will likely continue strengthening across the transfer window if they really want to improve on last term’s fortunes. Throughout 2014/15, Pellegrini’s side seemed incredibly flat for large parts of the campaign for some reason, which really cannot be repeated next term if the club are to remain with the experienced Chilean coach as their main man in the dug-out.
Whilst the Citizens’ squad admittedly looks pretty healthy going into the new campaign, certain defensive back-up must be sourced this summer if the 2015/16 season is to be a successful one for the club. Chelsea won the league last year thanks to their solid back-line – yet with both Eliaquim Mangala and Vincent Kompany manning the defence for Manuel Pellegrini next term – the signs don’t exactly look completely reliable for City going into the new campaign.
The upcoming season is therefore pretty much up in the air for the Sky Blues at this stage in the game. Depending on their subsequent action in the transfer window this summer – Manchester City could either win the league outright, or not even make a scratch on the top-four itself.
The club’s fate ultimately remains to be decided ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, yet it would nonetheless take a truly brave man to completely write off Manuel Pellegrini’s side in 2015/16.
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