So, Manuel Pellegrini mentions today that he is confident about retaining the Premier League title this year. Well of course he would say that, wouldn’t he? It is his job to offer sound bytes of the positive variety, the ones that make the fans think all the right things as the new season explodes on to our screens.
But can Manchester City do something that has not been seen by them for some time? Can they retain the Premier League title this year?
Well, possibly not!
The answer lies in the manager’s consistent ability to pick the right players for the right match, however he rotates his squad, through the oncoming footballing year. But if his team selection performance at the Community Shield is anything to go by, then City may do what Manchester United did last year, and finish outside the top four slots. Now for this City fan, that would be nothing short of disastrous!
Arsenal played well at Wembley in the Community Shield, of that there can be no denial from anyone, but to field a weak, and what seemed to some to be a second string team in places against such a team as Arsenal in what is the opener to the Premier League season, smacks of either false choosing on Pellegrini’s side, or a weakness in his squad that was not there at the end of the last season. And he remains “optimistic?”
The fans will ask and say a range of different things about their team’s performance the other day, losing 3-0 to the Gunners, and some will say “ah well it is only the Community Shield” or other such comments, thinking it is not that important as say the FA Cup or the league title is, and in a sense they would be right, but where has the sense of playing to win gone from the game today? Where has that “win at all costs” ideology vanished to?
Me Pellegrini says today that he remains optimistic believing that City “have a stronger squad than last year” but at the end of the season, when it comes to the title chase, where will City be? There is a feeling in some circles that Manchester United will finish higher than Manchester City. But if both teams do not watch their step, there might just be a surprise or two waiting for them from one of the other teams around them.
For City fans, this would be tragic in its extremes.