Is it time to start taking Man City seriously?

by James Daly

Monday, September 21st, 2009
 

Wining your first four league games straight is championship winning form in anyone’s book. Yes, there are still eight months to go of a long, trying season, but with 15 points from 18 surely it is time to start taking Mark Hughes’s multi-million pound team seriously.

Despite spending more money on new players than Elton John does on new glasses during the summer, Mark Hughes still struggled to convince football folk his team were serious title contenders.

But with results that are hard to ignore his side are in danger of mounting a serious challenge for the Premier league crown.

Hughes seems to have paid little regard to reputation or public image, freely signing players that most football fans seem to hate – including the like of Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Gareth Barry – but his team of loners are starting to gel into a quality outfit.

Adebayor, out of form, sometimes out of position, and out of favour from most of the Emirates crowd, has banged in six goals in five games for the blue half of Manchester (all this before introducing his foot to Robin Van Persie’s face) and seems to have found a new lease of life.

Carlos Tevez is finally playing for a team that wants him and despite having to wait until playing Crystal Palace for his first goal, looks to be settling.

Following the vain of someone playing Football Manager and signing all the best players around for stupid money, Hughes has nabbed some of the Premier League’s most consistent performers of recent years in Barry and Joleon Lescott, but the pair are showing why they were so highly considered.

There is long to go, and with City’s first defeat in a thrilling derby game against United now registered, it remains to be seen how serious a challenge they can mount. But ignore them at your peril.

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  • Mike

    no chance, they are to suspect at the back, Toure looked every inch the player he was at Arsenal. Always found out in the big games, loses his man way to easily for me. Same goes for Lescott.

    It’s true what Hansen said about them on MOTD. There’s no leader, you can see why they were so desperate to sign John Terry.

    It’s made it more interesting but I don’t think they are ready yet. I’m sure they’ll sign a few defenders in January.

    Top 6 but not top 4.

  • dexylongshot

    Is it time to start taking Man City seriously?

    NO

  • Darren

    Is it time to start taking Craig Bellamy seriously as a total, total, twat?

    Yes

    First of all he smacks a fan around the head, erh, you aint no Brian Clough mate. Secondly he runs up to the United fans when he scored one of his goals. Why was nothing said about that?

  • Ashley Straw

    In a word, no. City have had a good start to the season. That’s all. They have spent money on some proven Prem players and have had a run of good results. Let’s see where they are come May and then decide. As for the newly coined ‘Top 5’, I think Villa, Everton and Tottenham might have something to say about that! Let battle commence….

  • Patrick

    I’m not so sure people should be writing them off as upstarts. I agree a bit with the article. Bellamy may be a brainless goon but he’s playing very well and they look excellent going forward. I think they’ll put away the crap team very easily and it’ll come down to games against the Sky 4 to see how far they can go. Of course the defence is suspect as any defence would be with so many new signings attempting to gel together but they’ll learn from the OT defeat and will bounce back quickly. They’ve already beaten Arsenal and it took some Old Trafford timekeeping to deny them a point against Man Utd. Just looking at Fergie’s reaction you could see how much it meant to him. He was genuinely worried and showed all the grace we have come to expect from his red-face in the aftermath against a team managed by one of the greatest forwards he has managed in his time at United. I never respected him much despite his achievements and I think a lot less of him now. As for City, they clung in there against a ferocious Utd onslaught, they were fortunate to have the excellent Given between the sticks but ultimately they were unfortunate to have threatened to steal a point from the Sainted Fergie’s lair and that just wouldn’t stand hence the phantom additional time.

  • Matt Quinn

    To me, the Manchester Derby on sunday looked like the old champ getting a last few punches in on his way down. City played very well in the first half, but then were under constant pressure in the second half. Having 3 front-line strikers missing didnt hinder them too much. Imagine United without Rooney, Berbatov and Owen. Thats what City were playing with… and they still almost knicked a point.

    United are still just above them, but they are on the way down… and City know it.

  • Matt Quinn

    Ps. I always said that a fit Bellamy is a world class player! I might put money on him (again) being European player of the year next year.

  • Iain

    I think everyone is taking Man City seriously. They are well assembled for a whole season, and should be able to ride out any injury worries. THey play powerful football too. However, the weaknesses are there and need to be ironed out.

    In defence, who steps in convincingly if Toure or Lescott get injured? Same story at left back? And lets be honest, they aren’t quite there yet with the first choices.

    Up front, what happens when the weather turns and the pitches go a bit funny? Santa Cruz might well help them out here, but the attack is based around skill and pace at present. There may well be a plan B, we just haven’t seen evidence of it.

    However they are a lot of fun to watch, and Hughes seems to be getting the best out of a lot of his players. They could well break the big 4. THey could well break the big 2. Still not convinced they’ll overcome Chelsea’s power or Man U’s relentlessness, but they are contenders and no mistake.

    Anything between 2nd and 6th will be a success, and will attract more proven (i.e. not money chasing) talent, who want to challenge for honours.

    My bet is on them scooping the league cup this year, and using that to spur them on next season.

    I’m not convinced their PR department is working to full capacity yet. I imagine a Mr P Kenyon will be on board shortly to sort that out, though……

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    I think they are fast becoming the most hated team in Europe. What with the Adebayor last week and now Bellamy.

    Why does he feel the need to be such a pratt? His goals were superb, as Matt says, he is very under rated.

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