Money Can't Buy You Love, Or Can It? Manchester City Certainly Hope So
If you read any paper in England at the moment, then you will see that Manchester City are a team in crisis.
The media are portraying the mega-rich team as a club in turmoil, with internal fighting their main focus.
In the last two weeks, we've had three bust-ups between players and a supposed player revolt against manager Roberto Mancini.
The first incident came in the 3-0 home defeat against Arsenal, where it was reported that Yaya Toure and James Milner had to be pulled apart at half-time and Toure, who was taken off at the half, didn't wait until the end of the game before leaving.
The week preceding the Arsenal game, column inches were filled with talk of a player revolt at the club, with some senior players trying to force the Italian manager's hand.
Add to this, the fact that three first-team players, Gareth Barry, Joe Hart and Adam Johnson, flew to Scotland on their day off and were out partying till the small hours.
This is followed by another defeat, this time at Wolves where Emmanuel Adebayor and Vincent Kompany had a bust-up on the pitch.
Then finally today, reports suggest that there was another altercation, this time between Jerome and Yaya Toure.
All in all then, these 14 days could have gone better for the blues.
But with exception of the Adebayor-Kompany incident, none of the issues have been made public by the club.
Things like this will happen, and for two reasons.
Firstly, this is a group of international footballers earning more money in one season than most of us will earn in our lifetime.
They may have a great life, but they're under pressure to succeed. They all have the desire to be successful, and make or keep their reputation intact.
There are players at the club who are there just for the money, that is more than plain to see. But for the most part, this a genuinely hungry, hard-working side.
The second factor is that of the media.
The English media are waiting for City to fall flat on their faces.
Tiny arguments, which happen every day on the training ground, will be blown out of all proportion.
The smallest slip-up and they are on Mancini's back, large sections want the manager and the team to fail.
This is the thing that may bring City closer together. The more the media criticise the team, the more they will rely on each other and become a stronger team.
The key word in this is "team." At the moment, Manchester City play as a team on occasion, more often than not relying on individual brilliance to pull them through.
But if they can push back against the media onslaught, then this could be the start of something special.
Cast your mind back, and you will recall that the same was done with Chelsea. When Roman Abramovich bought the club, everybody wanted them to fail because they had come into money.
The same can be said of City now.
The situation is rather different now, though. Back then, Manchester United and Liverpool could spend the money and compete.
Now they can't, both are dwindling somewhat in the financial race. A couple of more years and City and Chelsea have the financial muscle to pull away from the pack.
The coming months will be interesting,
Will Mancini remain as manager?
Will the team qualify for the Champions League?
Which superstars will pitch up at Eastlands?
Whatever does happen, you can guarantee we'll know about that and a whole lot more, thanks to the media.
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