10 New Year's Resolutions for Manchester City

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2012

10 New Year's Resolutions for Manchester City

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    Setting New Year's resolutions is an age old tradition that many around the world participate in when the calendar year begins every Jan. 1. 

    Even a big EPL club like Manchester City sets resolutions for themselves when the new year begins. 

    City are not trying to lose a certain amount of weight or pick up a new hobby, they are trying to recover from a rough end to 2012. 

    The Citizens were knocked out of European competition on Dec. 4, which was followed five days later by a loss of their 19-match unbeaten streak at home. 

    That streak was ended by rivals Manchester United, who opened up a six point lead atop the EPL with a win in the Manchester derby. 

    Here are 10 New Year's resolutions that Manchester City should have going into 2013. 

Recover from European Frustration with Domestic Success

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    The biggest storyline of Manchester City's season so far has been their elimination from all European competition.

    City finished in fourth place in the so-called Group of Death behind Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax

    Roberto Mancini's club earned just three points, all draws at home, in Group D and will not have a crowded fixture list like title rivals Manchester United will have in 2013. 

    Not playing in Europe will give the City squad time to rest during the week and it will give the club plenty of time to stay fresh and avoid injuries. 

    With all the focus now shifted to repeating as EPL champions in 2013, City should be able to find a way to cut United's six point deficit and beat their rivals for the second straight season in the race for the championship. 

Win the FA Cup

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    In 2011, Manchester City finally announced that they were the real deal by winning the FA Cup over Stoke City.

    The biggest cup competition in England enters its third round of play on January 5th when City host Watford. 

    City should have their way with Watford and could get a favorable draw like they did when they won the cup two years ago. 

    With a chance to still bring home a domestic double in 2013, the FA Cup should be a realistic goal for the Citizens as they look to cement their status as a domestic powerhouse in England. 

Let Young Players in Squad Gain Experience

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    With their play in the FA Cup starting in January, Manchester City should let some of their younger players gain some on-field experience. 

    Those players include Scott Sinclair, John Guidetti and Abdul Razak. 

    Sinclair, 21, was brought into the club from Swansea City this season and has made just two starts in EPL play so far. 

    Both Guidetti and Razak spent time out on loan last season and neither player has made a start this season. 

    Guidetti is the more promising product of the two and he could prove to be a valuable backup to Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero up front. 

    Razak adds to the midfield depth at the club but he may be away from the club for up to six weeks to play at the African Cup of Nations for the Ivory Coast. 

Have Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero Start Up Front Together More

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    Roberto Mancini has played around with many different formations and player combinations this season.

    His most successful combination of players comes at the forward position with the Argentinian duo of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero. 

    When the two start together in Mancini's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, City's attack looks like a well-oiled machine. 

    The latest example of the Argentinian excellence for City came on Saturday when the Citizens cruised to a 3-1 victory over Newcastle. 

    The duo lead the club in scoring as well,  Tevez has scored seven goals in the EPL this season while Aguero has scored six in domestic play. 

    There is no reason why these two forwards should not start together in the starting 11, but for some odd reason Mancini still thinks he can sit one or both of the Argentinians in favor of Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli.

    However, Mancini has been proven wrong each time he starts Dzeko or Balotelli this season as the two other forwards for City have not done well in starting positions. 

Do Not Let Mario Balotelli Get on the Pitch

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    This resolution may seem a bit harsh but it is necessary for Manchester City to succeed in 2013. 

    Mario Balotelli's continuous antics on and off the pitch rival those of a five-year-old. 

    The latest incident involving Super Mario came when he was taken off the pitch in the Manchester derby.

    Instead of going to join his teammates on the bench, Balotelli stormed down the tunnel in frustration.

    The 22-year-old Italian has plenty of reasons to be frustrated with his play on the pitch, he has only scored one goal in EPL play this season in 13 appearances. 

    Balotelli has only had one strong game, which came against lowly Wigan on Nov. 28, where he scored his only EPL goal and was a force in the attack for most of the second half. 

    If Balotelli were performing well on the pitch, there would be more of a debate around this topic but as of now, Balotelli has no reason to argue why he should not be benched. 

Find a Reliable Replacement for Yaya Toure

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    Every club has a player that steps up in big matches, Yaya Toure is that player for Manchester City. 

    Toure will leave the club in January to play in the African Cup of Nations for the Ivory Coast. 

    City's most important match during Toure's absence will be on Jan. 13 against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

    Usually in matches against big-name clubs in the EPL, Toure is the one who finds the back of the net, he did just that in the Manchester derby a week ago. 

    Luckily for City, they only play one big match during Toure's absence, but in that one match they have to find someone to fill the void left by the clutch Ivorian midfielder. 

Do Not Overspend in January

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    It was revealed last week that Manchester City are still in the red when in comes to their finances. 

    The Citizens did make out better than they did last season and they will not face sanctions from European competition next season when Financial Fair Play begins. 

    This means that City will not be able to spend tons of money in the January transfer window like they have in the past. 

    Do not expect the Citizens to be in the market for the hottest commodity in January, Falcao, but they could go take a risk on players that cost less money.

    That is the strategy that the club took during the summer by bringing in Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair, two young players who did not cost the club a fortune. 

Find a Way for Aleksandar Kolarov to Stay Healthy

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    When Aleksandar Kolarov is on the pitch for Manchester City, he provides the club with a strong attacking threat from the back four.

    Kolarov has played in 12 EPL matches this season and has scored one goal, he has also provided one assist. 

    The statistics do not show the impact that Kolarov has on the pitch. 

    The Serbian is always a threat on set pieces, which compliments his ability to send plenty of crosses from the left side of the pitch. 

    Mancini is never afraid to use Kolarov as an attacking option off of the bench, but the Serbian only played 37 minutes as a substitute against Newcastle on Saturday before having to be substituted due to an injury. 

    If Kolarov can not stay healthy throughout the rest of the season, City's attack will be missing a key link that can pack a punch from an unexpected place. 

Continue Excellent Discipline on Pitch

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    In 17 EPL matches, Manchester City have recorded 23 yellow cards and just one red card.

    The 23 cautions rank 15th in the EPL and keeping 11 men on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes is crucial for City to overcome their six-point deficit in the EPL table. 

    The only player to be sent off for City this season was James Milner, who saw red against West Brom on Oct. 20. 

    If City continue their stellar disciplinary record, they will be able to avoid a potential upset due to a surprise sending off to one of their players. 

Start a Brand New Unbeaten Streak at Home

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    Before their loss to Manchester United at home last week, Manchester City had a 19-match unbeaten run at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions. 

    Every top club in the world is able to make their home stadium a fortress and City have done just that in 2012.

    In 2013, City will be looking to start a new unbeaten run at home, one that could become longer than their previous one if all goes right. 

    Among the visitors to Eastlands in 2013 are Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle and West Brom.