Overview of the last season
Man City had the near-perfect season in the 2020/21 season. Apart from FA Cup finals, Pep Guardiola’s men played every possible game PL team in Europe could play. Though the season-end report card looks good, the start was not so pretty. No preseason and Covid outbreak among few members led to the rusty start of the season. Shocking 2-5 defeat to Leicester at the Etihad. It was followed by a defeat to Spurs. Then few draws against Leeds, West Ham, West Brom, saw Manchester City in the bottom half of the table in the first 10 games. That’s the worst ever league start by any Pep Guardiola team. Draw against West Brom galvanized the squad to take the situation seriously and fight it together as a group.
Starting at Saint Marry in December, Man City went on to a 22 Game winning streak till March when they lost to Man United at the Etihad. This winning streak led Man City comfortably top of the table and winning their 5th PL. It was their 3rd in the last 4 years. Meanwhile, in another competition, Man City won the 4th consecutive Carabao Cup beating Tottenham 1-0 at the Wembley Stadium. Man City now holds the joint-most league cup win record with Liverpool (8).
Man City’s quadruple hopes were denied by Chelsea in FA Cup Semi-Final via Hakim Ziyech’s goal. Though the real gold for Man City was winning the Champions League. Man City had the best UCL campaign last season, by reaching the Champions League finals for the first time in their history. Performances against PSG and Dortmund were quite remarkable. But eventually, they fell short in the Finals against Chelsea at Lisbon, with the 1-0 defeat ending their long-awaited dream.
For City fans, this was a season full of emotions, especially the departure of the greatest striker in the club’s history, Sergio Kun Aguero. In his farewell PL match at the Etihad against Everton. Kun Aguero eclipsed his debut, by scoring 2 goals coming off the bench. Sergio Aguero scored his 184th and 185th PL goal breaking Wayne Rooney’s record of scoring most goals for a single PL club (184 goals).
What have Manchester City done this window
While negotiating for England’s number 9 Harry Kane. Man City made sure to get the hold of another Englishman, Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for a British record-breaking fee of 100 million pounds. Reports suggest that Pep Guardiola was convinced that the addition of Jack Grealish will elevate the squad and bring new attacking options to the team. His versatility to play as a winger, midfielder, even false 9 is the dream tool for Pep Guardiola. For creativity, Man City has KDB Grealish, Foden, and Mahrez. Man City fans are in a treat for some amazing football this season.
What did Man City miss this window?
It was no surprise that Manchester City was in the market for the new number 9. With the departure of Sergio Aguero, it was most likely that new striker will arrive at the club. Man City went with the approach of going all out for one man who they thought was perfect for this City squad. Man City’s number one and only one summer target for the number 9 position was Tottenham’s talisman Harry Kane. Harry Kane publicly expressed his desire to play for the team that is playing in the Champions League and competing for titles every season. Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspurs Chairman, was adamant to keep Harry Kane with the player having 3 more years on his contract. The deal did not materialize and Man City had to end the pursuit of Harry Kane.
Expectations from this season
Manchester City are the domestically most dominant team for the past decade. Winning the PL is always the expectation especially with the quality of the squad and big-name manager in Pep Guardiola. The strength and depth of this squad allow them to go deep into every competition and win silverware at the end. Winning the Cup Competitions Carabao Cup and FA Cup are never the primary targets. But for this team, it is always expected to win at least one of the two.
But the real question is, Can Man City produce what they did last season in the Champions League and get it over the line this time? With PSG, getting the world’s big names, Man City are not outright favorites to win the CL. But the fans, the Club Hierarchy, and the Media pressure always expect them to get their long-awaited dream of winning the first-ever Champions League. Will the Champions League curse continue or the determination of Pep Guardiola’s Men’s finally get it over the line?
For more such articles do click here