Manchester City had another transfer window where they were one of the busiest teams all over Europe. The departure of players like Carlos Tevez, Kolo Toure and Maicon was solved efficiently with several arrivals in the forward positions like Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas, just to name a few.
Their biggest change, however, was made outside the field as they replaced Roberto Mancini with Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini, who reached the Champions League’s quarterfinals with a depleted Malaga squad and went all the way to the semifinals back in 2005 with Villarreal.
Now almost two months into the season, there are mixed views on whether they made the proper move by cutting ties with Mancini and adding Pellegrini. The team is now playing with an attacking style that suits their players better, but the same old mistakes from last season are appearing once again.
Complacency against lesser teams in the Premier League like Cardiff City and Aston Villa, and a sounding defeat in Europe where they were completely outplayed by Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich have added a huge question mark to the Citizens’ project. It seems like they are taking two steps forward and one step back as the season advances.
It would be risky to judge the season and the whole project now, however, as Manchester City have made several new signings these last two years. They have added nine first-team players in the last two years and some of them still need to gel to play at their best for the Etihad Stadium outfit. Also, the fact that Pellegrini has only been at the helm for two months indicates that he needs more time to be able to display his ideas on the pitch.
One thing is certain about Manchester City this season, though: the struggles of Chelsea and Manchester United and the probable regression of both Arsenal and Liverpool could be a sign that they need to turn the corner now and take the definitive step in their quest to become one of the best teams in Europe.
It might be too late next season.