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Great Expectations

Manchester City fans have plenty of reason to feel confident about improving on last season’s 5th place finish. For a start the squad continues to be strengthened, with Yaya Toure now set to grace the Eastlands pitch in his Nike Lasers. But with or without major additions, there’s everything to play for in the Premier League. The once predictable top four is no longer and the league is more exciting than ever!

After Liverpool’s disastrous (for them anyway) 7th place finish and the emergence of Tottenham Hotspur as a serious contender, last season’s final table had a fresh look to it come May time. Of course with time and continuous signings, City will go from strength to strength. Anything less than a top-four finish would be a major disappointment and one man knows that more than any other.

Roberto Mancini has been allowed the time and money to establish a squad of players capable of competing for the Premier League title. It appears that calls for consistency have been understood by owner Sheikh Mansour which is a real positive for long term development of the club. If last season was one of building, 2010-2011 is meant to be one of achieving. Winning the league seems more of a possibility than ever before and not just because City will have a better team than last year.

In the 2010-2011 seasons no team will have the unrivalled quality to simply run away with it. Expect the eventual winners to drop a significant amount of points along the way. Chelsea only lost one game at home all last season (to City of course) and went down to the wire in an eventual two-horse race with Manchester United. But overall they won the league with 86 points; five less than they racked up the last time they won it and four less than champions Manchester United in 2008-2009.

As a welcome distraction from the domestic scene, the Europa League will give City fans even more hope of picking up a major trophy. Being able to draw on his large squad will be a definite advantage to Mancini. With so many games in the latter stage of the season and fatigue becoming such a highlighted factor, squads with quality in depth will be more likely to find their way to the latter stages.

Mancini knows that the Europa League is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience in Europe. With a Champions League qualification prize on the horizon, there’s added pressure to perform on the continent and Manchester City fans will be looking forward to the taste of European football again. Success in this competition will really send out a message to the rest of Europe that City have arrived as a major force in football, ready to compete with the best.

With expectation comes pressure and not just for Mancini. Players earning top-dollar for their services will have to really compete for time on the pitch if they are to find success at Eastlands. The emergence of a new generation of players will keep more experienced squad members on their toes.

These are exciting times for City, but with so much cash being injected in such a short space of time, it’s difficult to gauge what level of achievement is considered a success. Ultimately it won’t be the fans call; only one man will be the judge, but know that his expectations will match the dreams of even the most optimistic of fans.

Written by Olly; Olly works for the best Soccer Shop where you will be able to find the new Manchester City Home and Away Jersey!



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