Man City Close to Being Considered World-Class Option for Players

True BlueCorrespondent IJune 27, 2009

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - MARCH 28:  Carlos Tevez of Argentina celebrates the second goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South African qualifier match between Argentina and Venezuela at River Plate Stadium on March 28, 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  (Photo by Photogamma/Getty Images)

The year is 1999 and Manchester City are considering squad developments as Chairman David Bernstein and Manager Joe Royle run the rule over the squad.

Nick Weaver is first choice keeper with a defence consisting of journeymen of the likes of Andy Morrison, Richard Jobson, Danny Granville alongside home-grown talent like Richard Edgehill.

A midfield powered by Jamie Pollock, Tony Grant, Mark Kennedy and the classy Ian Bishop aren't the most illustrious in the club's history but are getting the job done.

The goals were certainly going to come from Shaun Goater with others such as Chris Greenacre and Craig Russell adding little more than effort.

The jewel in the crown however was Shaun Wright-Philips (SWP), and it was his emergence that really proved the lack of quality elsewhere.

There have been many twists and turns in the last 10 years but surely no club has ever been so transformed.

There has been undoubted improvements in the quality of players who have been associated with City in the last few years.

Nic' Anelka showed that they still had some pulling power, but the sale of SWP also proved that they were far from the top team the fans ached them to be.

I have read today that Carlos Tevez is more or less certain to be a City player next season, adding another respected name to the squad that includes Santa Cruz, Gareth Barry, Shay Given, Robinho, Elano, and, of course, SWP.

£19m players such as Jo are now no longer up to spec so the search continues for top class talent.

The struggle has no doubt been in convincing players of why City were a destination for top players.

Robinho was the first and many thought the process of squad building would be easy enough as money was no issue, but apparently that wasn't how the club saw it.

They have developed the squad relatively slowly, incremental increases in quality that are starting to add up to far more.

And so we are now at a point where Tevez is about to sign, and that may well mean that City are now a club who players are going to sign for.

Samuel Eto'o could be next, as well a myriad of others being connected to City in the press.

So we seem now to be light years from 1999 in so many ways, but certainly in the quality of players who turn up to train and play for Manchester City.

To this point that seems reward enough.

Next will come the trophies and that might mean looking at who City were in 1976 and the last significant silverware the club won.

But the next six weeks will show us exactly how far City have come, if Tevez and Eto'o are playing in sky blue, then I for one will pinch myself occasionally just to make sure it's real.