Winning the Premier League title is one thing, but Manchester City now face the tough test of defending their crown in 2012-13. With the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea strengthening this summer Roberto Mancini’s troops will have a job on their hands to top the pile once more, but the club is in a confident mood.
The transfer window exuberance that has characterised City’s rise to domestic dominance has not been evident this summer, with the Premier League champions forced to be more frugal in the market due to the impending Fifa Financial Fairplay regulations. At the time of writing, Jack Rodwell is the only new name that the Etihad Stadium faithful will be getting printed on the back of their football kits, but Mancini will still want to add a new face or two to his contingent before the window closes at the end of August.
A major boost for the champions is the commitment shown by club skipper and talisman Vincent Kompany this summer, with the Belgian powerhouse signing a new six-year contract with the club. Mancini will be keen to keep this star-studded squad together, and with more time training and playing to together, under Kompany’s lead there is no reason that City can’t go on to retain the title in 2012-13.
Another positive for the club is that Carlos Tevez has seemingly once more got his head back in the game, and is committed in the search for success this term. The Argentine’s return to form and maximum fitness will be as good as a new world-class signing for City, and the South American was on target in the side’s opening day victory over Southampton on Sunday.
The character shown in coming back from 2-1 down to triumph 3-2 was indicative of the never-say-die attitude the squad showed last term, and this group of individual stars have pulled together to form a motivated and focussed squad. One negative of the opening-day triumph was the injury picked up by Sergio Aguero, however the strength of the collective group has Kompany confident that they can continue winning ways without the influential forward.
Despite Mancini’s claims that his side are not favourites this term, City are certainly the team to beat as they enter the campaign as champions. With a frustrated Manchester United intent on revenge and Chelsea splashing the cash, City will need to improve this term to retain their crown, but have the players at their disposal to overcome allcomers once more in what should be a captivating campaign.