On paper, no one can argue that Man City now have a strong squad, and one that could be strengthened further before the summer transfer window slams shut. Witness:
Micah Richards, Kolo TourÃ©, Richard Dunne, Wayne Bridge
Nigel de Jong, Stephen Ireland, Gareth Barry
Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez
Outside of the big four, you have to say that’s the most talanted first XI in the Premier League, although I stress again that a good team needs to be greater than the sum of its parts -Â and Sparky’s City 2.0 have won nothing yet.
City have improved their squad this summer more than any other Prem team, but are they now at the point where they can break into the top four? It’s a tough call to make. The ability is there, but so are the huge egos, and that’s where I see City – Hughes, in particular – struggling.
I’ve no doubt that City will destroy some teams at home this season, but I can see a pattern developing, where one good performance at Eastlands is followed by a disappointing defeat away from home. Mark Hughes is no Jose Mourinho, and I don’t see City’s gaffer commanding enough respect to get the best out of players like Robinho, Tevez and Adebayor. Indeed, the smart money says that Hughes will be forced out by Christmas, on the back of inconsistent form and the odd star player bleating in the tabloids.
City’s poor pre-season form has filled me with little confidence either, although I know not to read too much into that.
Do you think City look like a top-four team now? Vote below, leave a comment, have your say…