Manchester City 2011 – 2012 Preview

July 26, 2011

After finishing tied for second place in the English Premiership for the 2010 – 2011 season, this upcoming season will be the first time Manchester City enters the Champion’s League. And despite its lack of experience playing in the top flight European competition, there are many things that should allow this team to go far.

One reason for such optimism would be coach Roberto Mancini. Mancini, who has been on the job for a year and a half now, is able get City to be competitive consistently. Because of his emphasis on defense, Manchester City only allowed a league-low 33 goals in the Premiership. Having such a solid defense is crucial because City will have to face many talented offensive teams.

On the offensive side of the roster, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry, and Shaun Wright-Phillips, should provide enough firepower to match just about any team in Europe. There is, however, one notable player who will not don the sky blue jersey: its captain, and arguably last year’s best player, Carlos Tevez.

It appears at this point that the team will not bring Tevez back. This is because City has nearly completed a deal with another Argentine star, Sergio Aguero, to basically replace Tevez. Because of the depth and leadership of the team, one would believe that this switch probably will even out in the end.


If we look at how Tottenham Hotspurs were able to make it to the quarterfinals last year, it would not be out of the realm of possibility for Manchester City to equal that achievement. In fact, the Spurs accomplished that feat with arguably a less-talented squad than that of Manchester City.

Although there is obviously a possibility for them to crash out early if they cannot consistently get results against the lower-seeded teams in its group, I predict that they will get out of their group and place second.


Below are the assessments for individual units and the players that make up those units. Note that I do not include all the players on the team, but rather focus on the ones likely to be the most influential during the season.

Goal Keeping: Joe Hart

Joe Hart won last year’s Golden Glove award and is also England’s starting keeper, and thus, he has plenty of positive momentum going into this year. Physically, he has all the tools, size, and athleticism to excel and to take his performance to the next level. He will keep City in many games where they may have difficulty scoring.

Back line: Vincent Kompany, Jolean LeScott, Stefan Savic, Micah Richards, Gael Clichy

Although City has plenty of good defenders, Vincent Kompany, who has been carrying the captain’s armband during the preseason games, holds the key here. He has to be able to command that line and play disciplined defense and not give up silly goals. I also prefer Savic to LeScott because Savic is a bit more athletic.  It would be interesting to see how Gael Clichy fares after transferring from Arsenal.

Midfield: Yaya Toure, David Silva, Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Vladamir Weiss,  Shaun Wright-Phillips

This is a deep and talented group, but because of Tevez’s departure, Toure has to step up and assume the leadership role for the offense here. He, along with David Silva, must bring the creativity that will be needed to break down the ultra-conservative Champions League defenses. Shaun Wright-Phillips must be mentioned as a wildcard, as he has difference-making speed.

Also, keep an eye on Adam Johnson. He is proficient both defensively and offensively, something that will be needed if City wants to be strategically flexible.

Attack: Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero

As bad as the press and Roberto Mancini portray Balotelli for being undisciplined and unprofessional, I believe he will excel next season. Mancini strikes me as a fair and patient manager, and thus, he will get the most out of Balotelli. An up-front combination of Balotelli as the physical, yet fast, forward, and Aguero as the skill forward, will make for a lethal tandem.

By Christian Siagian
Contributing Writer for

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