Manchester City And The Juggling Act
The most talked about team over the past month, the most signing during pre-season and the most expectations, pressure and promises.
But now the time has come for City to deliver, all talk aside, the real deal is finally here. The start of the 2010/2011 season begins with an all-star cast when Spurs will host City later today.
One major criticism lashed out at City bosses are their extreme spending, but as they attempt to build a "super-squad" let's take a quick preview at the possibilities.
One of the down-sides at having countless options with quality on the bench is the fact that big-named players get more frustrated sitting on the sidelines than anyone else.
So how will Roberto Mancini manage his squad, and who could we see in the starting 11 on a regular basis?
Let's just forget about the squad limits and new rules for a bit, and just look at which players will be the 11 rather than the 25.
Possible Starting Eleven (On Average)
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GK: Shay Given
RB: Micah Richards
LB: Aleksander Kolarov
CD: Jerome Boateng
CD: Kolo Toure (C)
RM: Adam Johnson
LM: Gareth Barry
DM: Yaya Toure
CAM: David Silva
CF: Carlos Tevez
ST: Emmanuel Adebayor
Going here with a more conservative formation, having enough men behind the ball, but also a balance of attack and defense.
Yaya Toure is playing a slightly defensive midfield role behind Silva, whose nature is to attack.
Tevez too plays just behind Adebayor, feed him but also inter-change, allowing for movement from the wings with Johnson and Barry running the flanks.
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The City bench will at most times be a huge focus, with who's going to be left out of the starting 11 and who's warming the bench.
Having so many quality players on display, leaves the manager with a simple yet straight forward question, whom does he leave out?
Their are seven places on the bench, so let's put our best bets on they could be...
- Stuart Taylor
- Joleon Lescott
- Wayne Bridge
- Nigel de Jong
- Patrick Viera
- Shaun Wright Phillips
- Robinho* (Depending on whether he stays - other-wise Roque Santa Cruz)
Remember City also completed the signing of Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan, so with the money spent on his services i doubt he will be left out. All depends when he will be ready.
Players Who Could Get Fewer Opportunities
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There's always going to be those players who less focus will be on, maybe a couple cup appearances, the odd league match. But generally as cover in the instance of injuries or suspensions.
It's all part of modern football, the big teams need these players, but don't need them at the same time.
At the end of the day, these players are on the pay roll, and like every footballer, he wants to play.
Playing regularly for your club, affects national call-ups. Therefore, managers need to be wary of the ill-effects of leaving players on the sidelines for too long.
These are some players who I personally feel will have fewer opportunities as the season moves along.
- Ireland* (Possible Transfer)
- Bellamy* (Possible Transfer)
Many players in this list are player who have been at the club for some time, and have been part of the recent growth and maturity at City.
Some are new youngsters, whose opportunity could be lessened due to their lack of experience.
Some disagree and say Manchini will balance the squad and give everyone equal opportunity, something which is impossible.
Changing teams, messing with formations and experimenting is left to preseason, not in one of the most highly competitive leagues.
City Won't Stop Here
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Could City continue their shopping spree and sign James Milner?
Although the England International has been named in the VIlla squad, there are still around two weeks until the window closes.
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While many might see this as a general strengthening of the squad, and I agree, they needed a make-over but i don't agree that it should have been so drastic.
Also with so many players now having joint, much of the work from last season will have to be re-done in terms of adapting to each-other. Players will take time getting used to one another's style.
The other factor, is that now that they have spent so much money on bolstering the squad, the pressure is on.
All eyes will be on them from the very beginning and every mistake and slip-up will be counted by much criticism.
City are hoping to go all-out, and win the huge prize, the Premier League title, something that has been held more often than not in the last 25 years by city-rivals Manchester United.
Roberto Manchini needs to make certain he puts the correct team out their on the pitch, a team that will represent City and a team that will, of course, get him the results.