Anything other than Champions League football

Anything other than Champions League football next season will be a disaster for Manchester City.

Spending over £100 million on new players in the summer, added on to the £118 million spent in the summer of 2009 clearly showed the owner’s intent on bringing instant success to the club. Two-and half years since Sheikh Mansour took over at Eastlands and still no silverware to show for the money he has invested into the club.

Quite similar to when Roman Abramovich took over at Chelsea, the main priority for the new owners was to attain champion’s league football, and with City just missing out last season, it is vital for the clubs progress that they reach the target this term. 

World class players like Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure all turned down potential champions league football this season to play for City this term and failure to achieve champions league football could potentially cause an overhaul of players to leave Eastlands in the summer.

Tevez had already showed his desire to leave City, despite having his transfer request rejected earlier on in the season. Meanwhile,  Balotelli’s childlike attitude is continuing to frustrate fans despite his undoubted talent, the Italian is constantly throwing his doll out of the pram this season, and it is clear manager Roberto Mancini is getting near to the end of his tether with the former Inter Milan player, and could be shown the door in the summer.

If players like Tevez and Balotelli are to leave in the summer, it remains to be seen whether City will still be able to attract World class players to the club if they are forced to settle for a Europa league place again at the end of the season. 

The huge weight on Mancini’ shoulders to deliver champions league football will surely have rubbed onto the players this season but the quality of the players at Eastlands should be able to deal with pressures of modern day football especially with the amount of money the Man City owners are paying the majority of the players in wages.

 City’s main rivals for fourth place , Spurs, face a much tougher run-in to the end of the season. Harry Redknapp’s men face tough away ties to Chelsea and Liverpool, a home game against fierce rivals Arsenal and a tie which may go a long way to decide who takes fourth place; away to Man City. Along with this string of tough fixtures, Spurs are still competing in the later stages of this year’s champion’s league which is bound to have a effect of fatigue on the players to which has been a long season for the players at White Hart Lane.

The Blues’ run in consists of tough away fixtures against Liverpool and Everton, and potential banana skin ties on the road against Blackburn and Bolton, but most importantly the game against Spurs. With City recently being knocked out of the Europa League, they can concentrate on the league, and their FA Cup semi-final versus rivals Manchester United.

City’s Champions league destiny is certainly in their own hands, but will the pressure to deliver be too much for Mancini and his men?

Jamie Hopkins

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