Carry on drinking...
By Dave Walker
It’s fair to say that all Manchester City fans are extraordinarily well hydrated as the Community Shield showdown with Chelsea beckons… well, we have been ‘drinking it in’ for the past three months, haven’t we?
|Mancini: Can he lead us to more success?|
Photo: Dino Panato/Getty Images Europe
City supporters will have long since reached saturation point after the giddying events of May 13 and the now immortal Martin Tyler Sky Sports commentary of ‘Aguuuuerrrrrroooo’, but it’s now time to start all over again if the MCFC ‘dynasty’ is to continue to flow smoothly.
In Roberto Mancini, the Blues have a manager who possesses a relentless drive for success – an unquenchable thirst – which augurs well for plenty more ‘drinking time’ for years to come.
For the second successive year the sky blue side of Manchester will contest the season’s curtain-raiser, albeit in the downsized surroundings of Villa Park due to Wembley playing host to the Olympics.
It’s a case of ‘as you were’ for the reigning Premier League Champions following a curiously puzzling and, slightly perplexing, period of transfer inactivity.
The spectre of Platini’s ill conceived Financial Fair Play looms large, but nonetheless, Mancini and City fans alike are still convinced top quality reinforcements will arrive before September 1.
It’s quite the opposite down the Kings Road in London, where the newly crowned European champions have splashed Roman’s roubles like a cloudburst in June.
Eden Hazard, Oscar, Marko Marin & Thorgan Hazard (Hazard junior) have all arrived at a cost approaching £65m in fees alone, as Roberto De Matteo injects youth and vitality into what were the rapidly ageing Chelsea pensioners.
But despite the unexpected frugality emanating from the Etihad, Mancini’s men should still have enough in their armory as they seek to start the season as they mean to go on – with a win and silverware.
Arguably, the upside of no newcomers is that City will launch into the new season with players even more accustomed to each other, born of past triumphs and a well cultivated team spirit.
The big question lies in Mancini’s defensive formation, having displayed a propensity for playing with three at the back during pre-season friendlies. In Roberto we trust, and, if nothing else it is reassuring to know that City have not stagnated tactically – far from it.
Tevez is as good as a new signing - considering his five month absence last time out - with the added bonus of him looking razor sharp – the result of a full pre-season regime for the first time with City.
His partnership with Aguero promises to terrorise the Premier League and, along with Balotelli and Dzeko, who would bet against the quartet bagging a minimum 70 goals between them?
If reinforcements are to arrive, possibly in the shape of Roma’s Daniele De Rossi, Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez and Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, they will serve to add steel to City’s defensive play and only complement the abundance of riches in attack.
With Silva and Balotelli likely to be missing on Sunday, it’ll be interesting to see Mancini’s team selection, formation and tactics, but whatever they are, City fans will surely be raising their glasses once more to toast victory on Sunday afternoon.
Yaya Toure vs Frank Lampard
|Photo 1: Johannes SimonGetty Images Europe Photo 2: Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe|
City’s talisman and powerhouse Yaya is the man who really makes the champions tick, especially when unleashed behind the potent Argentinian led attack.
His midfield dominance could be a critical component in a City victory whereas a fully fit and in form Lampard would undoubtedly pose a threat to Mancini’s me. He may be the wrong side of 30 but his vision and shooting range should never be underestimated.
Whichever of the two is best able to link their side’s defence with their attack will most likely emerge the victor from an entertaining encounter.
You can also follow Dave on Twitter: @djwskyblu
(c) The Sky Blue View 2012
(c) The Sky Blue View 2012