It wasn’t too many moons ago that the blues were just another team in the Premiership, sitting by while the ‘big’ teams brought big name after big name to the league.
And it’s not that far back since City had to sell their top players in order to strengthen the team for the new season. All too often, our best players would be sold and we would scour our Premiership rivals for the best of their fringe players to see which ones could possibly make any sort of difference in our first team.
But today, we find ourselves on the other side of the coin, bringing in top players while our fringe or former first teamers are being linked to other sides. Before I continue, I want to point out that this isn’t a rant against other teams and it is also not a gloating session, merely an observation. I don’t want to be inundated with abuse from Liverpool or United supporters, although I would be interested to see what Scott the Red makes of it.
But there is a decent amount of pleasure in seeing the blues bring in such high quality players while at the same time, watching teams like Liverpool and United being linked with players such as Wayne Bridge and Stephen Ireland who can’t make it into our first team. At one time, we were taking their cast-offs and reserve players. Remember Nigel Clough, Terry Cooke and countless others that have drifted through our doors.
But times have changed and City are now not only linked to top names from their rivals, but actually buying them (Toure, Adebayor, Tevez). But it is not only City that are creating waves. Spurs have shown that they are a team who are going places and rattled the top four last season, while behind us follow Aston Villa and Everton, who can no longer be disregarded in English football.
But it doesn’t stop there. Fulham have shown themselves to be a real threat in the Premiership and even teams such as Birmingham and Sunderland are capable of springing a few surprises throughout the season. If West Ham can regain some of their form under their new manager, competition for European places will greater than ever.
But whatever people say about the money City have invested, there is no denying the fact that the blues and Spurs have given the Premiership the injection of life that was desperately needed. English football was going stale, watching the same teams sharing out the trophies between them while the rest of us just sat and watched with envious eyes.
Yes, times have changed in English football and, in my opinion, they have changed for the better.
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