5 Reasons Why Manchester City Will Win the Premier League Next Year
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Manchester City Football Club is in disarray.
It has been a few short days since the Sky Blues (save for brace man Jack Rodwell) sleepwalked through a home loss to Norwich City to end their season, thus spray-painting a mustache onto an already ugly painting.
One can only imagine the excitement and zest for spirited competition this side must feel now. Instead of some needed rest, the Citizens are making like the Muppets and taking Manhattan.
Despite all that, there are plenty of reasons to be bullish on City's prospects to repossess their Premier League trophy from Manchester United next season.
Here are five.
City Is Probably Going Hard and Deep at the Summer Transfer Window
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Quite recently the speculation has been that Radamel Falcao is all but delivered to the blue side of Manchester.
It says so in The Mirror, so it has to be true.
Even if you refuse to put your faith in that tabloid, though, corroborating evidence is mounting, including but not limited to the report in the Express that Falcao's current club will not block his move to the Premier League if he wants to go.
Falcao is only one player, of course. But if that £54 million transfer fee is to be believed, that would be more than City spent on Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair and Matija Nastasic combined last summer.
And per the Daily Mail, City is also seriously in on Fernandinho, who will not come cheaply.
It sure seems like it is going to be a different kind of summer for City this time around.
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As set forth in the opening slide, Manchester City is a club at the crossroads these days.
So why does Ladbrokes have City as co-favorites with Manchester United to win the Premier League next season?
Both City and United are 19/10 to win the league. Chelsea is next at 13/5. After that, look out below.
If some plague fells all three of those clubs, Ladbrokes thinks the next best team is Arsenal. Right now, though, you can get the Gunners at 14/1.
Still further down the line of probability is Tottenham Hotspur at 20/1. Apparently, even Gareth Bale's reported decision to stay at White Hart Lane was not enough to move the touts toward Spurs. (h/t The Guardian.)
Thus, as you probably knew already, there are only three teams with realistic chances to win the league in 2013-2014.
They are the same teams who finished first, second and third in the table this season too.
City Will Win Because Chelsea Will Not
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The upcoming exhibitions between Manchester City and Chelsea ought to be some theater.
Show of hands: who among you thought that Roberto Mancini would not survive to manage these matches, but that Rafa Benitez would?
Ever classy, Chelsea treated Benitez like a substitute teacher at a reform school right to the bitter end. Thanks for winning the Europa League; car fare is on the dresser.
Chelsea's leading scorer in the Premier League this season was Frank Lampard. It may have had something to do with all those penalties they let him take.
As long as Lamps is going to lead the team in scoring because Fernando Torres and Demba Ba (just two goals in 14 appearances for Chelsea) hit everything but net, Chelsea cannot seriously contend.
No matter who manages them.
City Will Win Because United Will Not
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All due credit to Manchester United for winning the Premier League this past season. United had the best player (Robin van Persie) and they were the best side.
Things are going to look awfully different at Old Trafford in August, though.
Sir Alex Ferguson is gone. Maybe David Moyes is a great manager, maybe he isn't.
It is hard to know what Moyes will do with a team full of highly-paid stars when he made his name bossing lesser lights around.
And besides, history is littered with the corpses of "next guys," i.e., guys who followed great men only to flop.
Add to Fergie's retirement the possible departure of Wayne Rooney, and United might be utterly unrecognizable as the days shorten toward the end of summer.
The Mancini Effect
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Manchester City's performance in the FA Cup final was a dirty shame that now seems almost wholly motivated by the players' desire to guarantee that Roberto Mancini would be fired.
The recent report in the Daily Mail is, well, the sort of thing the Daily Mail does a lot of. Quotes from anonymous players. Recitations of quotes from Mancini that cast the Italian in a sorry light—quotes, of course, attributed to Mancini without proof he ever uttered them.
It would be easy to dismiss this piece as yellow journalism set up to redeem the players who are staying at the expense of the manager who has already left.
Except this piece is not alone in telling this story.
To paraphrase the great comedian George Wallace, if three or more people say you did what you did, that's good enough for me.
City is almost certainly going to play better for Manuel Pelligrini or whoever takes over for Mancini.
Because they certainly can't play much worse.