Man City still out of place amongst Europe’s elite

Following Manchester City’s victory of Victoria Pilzen in the opening matchday of the Champions League there was a sneaking suspicion that the team might just be ready to finally make a run in Europe’s premier competition.

And that might still happen; City’s group is not as difficult as the ones they have had to deal with in previous seasons. It is likely they will qualify for the knockout stages but once there the calibre of teams will be far greater than that of CSKA Moscow or Pilzen.

Based on Wednesday night’s evidence against current holders Bayern Munich, and previous showings against the likes of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, it appears that City are struggling to convince themselves that they belong in such exalted company.

Their showing against Bayern lacked confidence and belief; two key commodities which are needed when facing world class competition. Bayern outplayed for three quarters of the game and made a team that has had £110m invested in it this past summer alone look supremely average.

That was overwhelming feeling following last night’s defeat to the German powerhouse and if City want to win the most coveted of prizes than they will need to find the belief in themselves that they can compete with the very best that the continent has to offer. 

It has long been a theory of mine that constantly adding millions of pounds worth of talent hinders the collective team spirit as they are only a few that are around long enough to build a real connection and City are a classic example of this. You have to sympathise with manager Manuel Pelligrini as he has one of the toughest jobs in football as he attempts to control a large group of expensive (and sometimes egotistical) football players at the same time as trying to get them all singing from the same hymn sheet.

There is no doubt that City are a very talented team and there is a reason why they are favourites for this year’s Premier League but considering the large investment of the owners it is expected for them to be challenging not only domestically but on the European stage too. So far that has not been the case.