Monday, 22 July 2013

A lesson learnt from last season's misfortunes?

By Alex Mason

Manchester City have certainly learnt their lesson from last years transfer catastrophe, that evidently cost them the Premier League title.

Last summer City signed five players on transfer deadline day, with former City manager Roberto Mancini admitting he only signed one of his transfer targets, Matija Nastasić. It was a transfer window that saw City lose out on Eden Hazard, Daniele De Rossi, Javi Martínez and of course Robin van Persie.

So it's safe to say that after winning the Premier League title in 2012, City's transfer strategy was ineffective in the close season.

Pellegrini's transfer strategy has been a stark difference compared to last season's.
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook
However, this summer has been a lot different. City have definitely pushed up a few gears by signing Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, speedy Spanish winger Jesús Navas, Spanish forward Álvaro Negredo, who I might add finished Europe's seventh top goalscorer last season and Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetić, a player who shipped in 13 goals in 25 appearances for his former club Fiorentina.

City struggled to score goals away from home last season. Last season City scored 25 goals away from home but scored 41 goals at the Etihad. The Blues will always score goals at home, thanks to their ability to play with such freedom and the 12th man gives the players the confidence to deliver excellent performances.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook
I believe the reason for the poor away performances lay with the failure to replace Mario Balotelli, who departed in January this year. It's difficult to win the Premier League with just three strikers to choose from. When City won the title back in 2012, they played most of the season with three strikers but a rejuvenated Carlos Tevez came back into City's team and contributed tremendously when City found themselves eight points behind champions Manchester United.

Mancini had four strikers to pick from in the remaining 10 games of 2011/2012 season. All four strikers playing a big part in the final game of the season against QPR.

City scored 38 away goals in the 2011/2012 season. A season that will stay in the hearts of all City fans across the world.

I believe the failure of defending the title was due to a poor and ineffective transfer strategy. Only one of last seasons summer signings made a name for themselves in Matija Nastasić. The centre back had a fantastic season, playing 21 Premier League games. At the age of 20, Nastasić looks like a great future prospect. 

The other five summer signings failed to make a great impression on their City careers. Scott Sinclair failed to impress having only played 11 games all season. Future prospect Jack Rodwell's season didn't get off to a great start, poor performances followed by injuries didn't help his cause for a starting place this season. Brazilian right back Maicon was an odd signing with City already having two very capable and well established right backs in their team. So it's no surprise Maicon has now left. Javi García was a rushed signing, somewhat of a last resort after City missed out on Javi Martínez and Daniele De Rossi. García definitely hasn't replaced former blue Nigel de Jong's boots just yet. 

City's transfer strategy let them down last season, it was very last minute. This years transfer strategy is a lot different. New boss Manuel Pellegrini has really identified the gaps in City's team by signing two world class strikers.

City will go into the new season with four proven goalscorers. City's new summer signings are quality individuals that have already proven themselves in Europe. Last seasons additions were prospects and not players City needed, or wanted, to retain their Premier League crown.

Pellegrini doesn't seem one to wait around and the Chilean has already signed four players a month before the new season kicks off.

Compare this transfer window to last summers and I think City fans are in for a very exciting new season.

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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