A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Where Manchester City Are Going Wrong
When Abu Dhabi United took over Thaksin Shinawatra's reigns at Manchester City during the summer transfer window, speculation ravaged over who they would bring in.
Fortunately for the other 19 teams in the league, they didn't have a lot of team in which to deal, so they had to make do with just the one signing. This signing, however, sent a message out to everyone that City were willing to take on Abramovich's Chelsea in the transfer market, as they captured Robinho for a British record transfer fee.
For the remainder of the year, barely a week went by without a new target being touted in the media. It started off with the dream team they were looking to build, involving the likes of Kaka, Fabio Cannavaro, Gigi Buffon, Fernando Torres, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
One by one, these players, unsurprisingly, said they weren't interested. No amount of money could tempt them to the blue side of Manchester.
Yet, with a reported £550 billion in their pockets, Abu Dhabi United were still expected to spend big.
Things weren't going much better on the field either, as, instead of challenging for a European spot like many thought they would, they are now embroiled in a relegation battle, with manager Mark Hughes under increasing pressure.
Now, this will discourage the world's best players to come to Eastlands even more, but surely it would make Abu Dhabi want them even more.
To be honest, I doubt anyone expected them to get the very best players in the world. However, I also doubt many expected them to get the players they are now being linked with.
I never thought they would get Kaka, but I thought they would chase the likes of Yaya Toure. Not the best in the world but a very good player nonetheless.
Instead, they are aiming for Scott Parker—a better than average player who is in and out of the side at West Ham. Yes, they have to be realistic, but with that much money in the bank, the level of realism needed drops a considerable amount, like it or not.
Mark Hughes has also said that the club is after Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz. Now, Santa Cruz I can understand. He has proved himself to be a very good player, particularly under Mark Hughes.
But Craig Bellamy, who was sold by Mark Hughes at Blackburn, is another player who isn't at the standard I would expect City to be chasing. He is a good player, without a doubt, but the best they could get? Not a chance.
Which brings me to Wayne Bridge. Again, he is a good player, he wouldn't have 32 England caps to his name if he didn't, but is he the best they could get? Again, no.
Now, I know that City need a defender. None of their back four have been playing consistently well, with Richard Dunne and Micah Richards a long way off last season's form, and they are leaking goals all too easily.
I also know that their attack, when on form, is among the best in the league. Which, of course, means they need a defender. But there are other players I would rate higher than Wayne Bridge. Taye Taiwo would have been a perfect signing for City.
Kolo Toure and Michael Dawson are other choices who may have added a bit of steel to the central defence. After all, left-back is not the only position Manchester City need to rectify. Diego Lugano would be another great signing for them, in my opinion.
Still, Bridge must be doing something right—he has now signed for the two richest clubs in British football history. This may also give him a chance to overhaul Ashley Cole in the England set-up.
But first he will have to impress at City, something he is very capable of doing. £12 million though? And a reasonable target for a team with pockets as deep as Manchester City's?
To both, I answer no.
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