Why Manchester City Will Not Pay the Price for a Quiet January Transfer Window

Phil Keidel@@PhilKeidelContributor IIFebruary 11, 2014

Even acknowledging the impetuous and greedy nature of football fans, reaction to Manchester City's recent semi-skid is sort of embarrassing.

Starting with a 6-0 lashing of Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad on Nov. 24, City have won 18 matches, drawn three and lost one in all competitions. That's good, right?

Except all anyone really wants to talk about now is how the Sky Blues have not scored since hanging five on Spurs at White Hart Lane on Jan. 29. And how they earned only one point from six in their past two league matches.

Now the sky is falling down because Sergio Aguero is hurt again, and because Fernandinho is still two or three weeks away from returning (as is Samir Nasri).

This makes City fans fret about whether the club was short-sighted during the past January transfer window.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini was exceedingly nonplussed as the window was closing without the Citizens bringing anyone on. "We'll see what happens, deadline day is 31 Januaryit's not our first concern but we'll see what happens in the future," City's boss told Sky Sports then.

Just two weeks later, the injury bug has nipped City and now the blue half of Manchester is worried that City do not have enough players to compete for the four trophies they might still win.

That is just silly.

First off, all three of City's injured stars are coming back to the XI relatively soon.

City fans only need to look at how Arsenal lost Theo Walcott for the season to know how fortunate the Citizens are that none of their big guns has been holstered and locked away.

More to the point, though, the quality City have behind the players currently healing up should be more than sufficient to win football matches.

Aguero is out, but City have three strikers behind him (Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic) who cost tens of millions of pounds each, and who would start for most Premier League sides.

Fernandinho and Nasri will miss more time; City should not suffer greatly, though. The midfield quartet of David Silva, James Milner, Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas are better than all but a handful of starting midfield lines in the league.

Lost in the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments by City fans is that while City have not scored in the past two matches, they kept one clean sheet and lost by a single goal in the other match.

City's defensive efforts are keyed both by the brilliant return to form of keeper Joe Hart and the relative health of the back line. Pellegrini's preferred four—Gael Clichy, Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta—are all fit and playing now.

Besides, as aptly argued by ESPNFC.com's David Mooney recently, desperately throwing satchels of £50 notes at the transfer window is not good business.

It does not guarantee winning football, either. "That they didn't panic and splash the cash shows the team responsible for assembling the squad are happy with its current set-up and any improvements that may need to be made can wait until the summer," Mooney wrote.

Pellegrini was hired to manage City with full knowledge that the schedule would be as unforgiving as the club's fans. Injuries will not be an excuse for City if their trophy chases end with empty hands.

Nor should they be. This City side as presently constructed can beat any team. Remember Bayern Munich 2-3 Manchester City? Was that City XI particularly scary?

City possess more than enough quality to achieve most of their goals, with or without the likes of Aguero, Fernandinho and Nasri.

If they don't, the blame will fall on the big-name, high-salaried players currently cashing City checks and not on the quiet January transfer window.


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