Manchester City's Impressive Start Makes Them Serious Contenders

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IOctober 19, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Martin Petrov of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The world is well aware by now that Manchester City have become one of the new powerhouses of world football. While this power has been largely said to be financial and not a threat to the current crop of top teams for another season or so, it has in fact become apparent from their early seasons results, that they have transferred this power from potential to reality.

Like a gathering storm they are threatening to destroy the status quo and rip asunder the foundations for the power base of the premiership big boys.

With ridiculous amounts of cash that defied the recessionary times the last transfer window was conducted in, they have overnight becoming a European footballing giant.

This was demonstrated in them being invited to take on the European Champions, Barcelona, at the Nou Camp in a pre-season trophy match which was won by the visitors.

They have on most occasions so far this season looked very impressive in their work and the only loss they have endured in the league is to hated rivals Manchester United. Who by any-ones standards are opponents that are exceedingly difficult to get a result out of.

Other than this, they have recorded five victories and two draws.

Notably, they have beaten Arsenal and also taken a point at Villa park, which proved to much for Chelsea at the weekend gone.

Interestingly enough in their game they were reduced to 10 men away to Wigan, which was where Chelsea had the same happen and unlike the Londoner's they still stuck out for a point.

Are these quirky little facts mere blips in the face of footballing time? Or do they signal something more worrying for fans of the entrenched top four and other challengers to the premierships status quo?

The thing that many pundits and fans alike have been pointing out is that while Manchester City may look good going forward, they are woeful at times at the back.

But then again for a side that is apparently in trouble defensively they have still only lost one game. The longer that they are able to continue to win while conceding the odd goal, the stronger the defensive group will become.

Whilst defensive frailty seems to be a worry for manager Mark Hughes and his coaching staff, there is also no question that they are well aware of it and are doing their utmost to remedy the seemingly brittle nature of their back four.

In Shay Given, they have a sturdy and experienced keeper who has made more of a difference this season than the amount of goals conceded would suggest. It seems they just have to work through the four players in front of him and the variations that they will need to use as the season progresses.

The worrying thing for their opponents to come is that once play is able to be linked more securely from the back to the front and back again it will most likely become evident that this side is ready to make the step up to being genuine contenders a lot faster than many have said.

A telling thing in this respect could well be the teams absence from European competition, meaning they can focus on the league more thoroughly. Their main rivals will have a little bit more to sink their teeth into, which may lead to toothache in certain fixtures that Manchester City will not experience.

They have as a team threatened to bury sides on occasion already this season and it has been apparent that they are still growing accustomed to each others method of play and variance of play.

The likes of Adebayor, Tevez, Robinho, Bellamy, Ireland, and Petrov to name a few, are players who given enough time, will soon learn where and when each other most likes the pass and it should not be long before we see this team flatten an opponent.

Statistically speaking, they are in a strong position and seem to be gaining a cohesion that will put them not only in the mix as contenders for CL spots, but with the stuttering form of the top sides already this term, it seems that they could even be serious contenders for the title itself.

This type of conjecture was laughed at pre-season as many were saying that there was no way that this team could get things together so soon and mount a challenge.

This has actually turned out to be denial, as they have shaken the tree already with a solid victory over Arsenal and a last gasp loss at Old Trafford.

There are, of course, many tests yet to come but if they continue to brush aside the less challenging opponents as they have done already, they will be in a very strong position on the table and in a very good state of morale when they come to more serious games.

This will be demonstrated in the coming weeks as they take on Fulham at home, Birmingham away and then Burnley at home, before a trip to Anfield to take on a Liverpool side that has looked less than convincing so far this season.

If they are able to take maximum points in the next three fixtures, they will certainly be in a position to mount a serious challenge to Liverpool and make a definite signal of their intent.

The future is no doubt bright for followers of this side and the members of the organization itself but they will be under no illusions as to how difficult a task sits before them.

They have made a strong start and sent a definite signal that they are here to play this season. They have also picked up eight of their seventeen points away from home and form away from home is something that has been lacking in the past couple of seasons for this side.

The signs are there now and things are looking ominous for those who were rubbishing the chances of the blue side of Manchester.

There could be many who are eating their words as the season progresses, I am of the mind that I will not be one of them.