2015 hasn’t been the best in terms of silverware, but has been an important one in terms of the development of Manchester City – as they aim to prove themselves as one of Europe’s elite sides.
2015. A year of development, transition and genuine progress for Manchester City. The Premier League title race was virtually over before it started, Chelsea‘s dominance meant they were certain favourites and despite late charges from both the Citizens and Arséne Wenger‘s Arsenal side, the Blues got their hands on the crown in May. Deservedly so.
But the months leading up to the new season, were particularly telling in the way things would transpire on and off-the-pitch for their rivals. The summer acquisitions of Raheem Sterling, Patrick Roberts, Fabian Delph, Nicolas Otámendi and Kevin de Bruynecertainly showed the club’s intent to move forward – improving both squad depth and maintaining high quality in the first-team.
Something that Chelsea, were unable to do. Upgrade sufficiently and sell their ‘deadwood’, which has left them in a tricky situation at the wrong end of the spectrum – ultimately also costing José Mourinhohis job at the helm more recently.
Success stories in all ranks
The development of the EDS and Ladies’ sides has also been a success story to behold, as the women made history by qualifying for the Champions League whilst the youth ranks continue to shine with ever-improving youngsters eager for their opportunity to assert their first-team credentials in the not-too-distant future. The likes of Manu García, Brandon Barker, Kean Bryan, Tosin Adarabioyo and in particular, Kelechi Iheanacho – have all proved their respective quality – giving the sky Blues a refreshing mix of youth and experience within.
They haven’t really got into their full stride yet, believe it or not, which is the scariest thing for their opponents. For the first time in a long time, they’ve managed to hold their own against tough opposition – including Juventus and Sevilla – amongst Europe’s elite, and as a result, topped Group D. Dynamo Kyiv await in the knockout rounds, a winnable two-legged fixture there. Prevail against the Ukranians, and they’ve got a decent opportunity to progress even further and then, who knows?
Sitting third in the League, they will be expected to take Arsenal down to the wire for the Premier League trophy – rightly so. With the likes of the aforementioned signings, as well as key attacking duo David Silva and Sergio Agüero gradually returning to 100% fitness, 2016 is looking like a promising year in terms of the trophy cabinet at Eastlands.