Last season Manchester City failed to live-up to their hype, spending or talent. The result was a second-place finish in the Premier League and a trophy-less campaign.
However, the Citizens chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has revealed, in around about way, that another trophy-less campaign this season would not be tolerated and that the pursuit of trophies is owner Sheikh Mansour’s main objective.
City made a profit for the first time in seven years, when Mansour purchased the club, but it is on-the-field success that everybody at the club is aiming for this season.
While making his annual report on Wednesday Khaldoon said: The desire for silverware has always been a critical element of Sheikh Mansour’s strategy for the reinvigoration of Manchester City both on and off the pitch.
“It’s a strategy predicated on long-term sustainability and the ongoing development of momentum year-after-year.
“The fact that we consider last season to be below par for Manchester City is a testament to how far we have come in the last seven years. This is a level of ambition that we should not shirk or shy away from.
“No team can expect to win every year, but competing to win in England’s domestic competitions and improving our performance in the UEFA Champions League are entirely reasonable goals for Manchester City.
“It is right to have high expectations for this great club and the talented group of players chosen to represent it.
“To put things in their simplest terms, we are now a profitable business with no debt and no outstanding restrictions.”
It is hard to argue with the fact that City underachieved last season. As per usual since the arrival of Sheikh Mansour City spent relatively big last season bringing in the likes of Eliaquim Mangala, Fernando and Wilfried Bony.
None of the trio could have been called resounding successes and City failed with their big objective of progressing in the Champions League and winning the Premier League title.
Due to that perceived failure boss Manuel Pellegrini’s future at the club was thrown in major doubt, with speculation that the Chilean would leave the club in the summer.
However, City stuck with the former-Villarreal man in an attempt at continuity and the move seems to have paid off so far this season.
This summer’s arrivals have proven rather more successful, with Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne an instant hit in the English top-flight.
England international Raheem Sterling has not started the campaign in spectacular form, but he is developing a good partnership with full-back Aleksandar Kolarov on the left side for City, and may still prove to be a good signing for City.
Even Pellegrini himself would probably understand if the City owners ended his reign as City boss should they finish the season without a trophy. The sheer investment in the squad over the past few years should ensure at least some success on the pitch.
Much is made of the money spent, but like in any walk of life money makes the football world go round. The more money a club has to spent the better players they can buy, assuming it is spent wisely that is.
Pellegrini has spent a fair bit of money aiming for success and he has achieved some success in winning one Premier League title, but it is success in Europe that everybody connected with City seems to crave.
Pellegrini may not have to worry about his job status at the end of the season, as City are currently favourites to win the Premier League title at odds of 4/5. With the Citizens main rivals producing inconsistent performances the Citizens look good for the title this season.
Apart from a slight slip-up earlier in the season, City has looked strong in the English top-flight this season. They have already slipped-up in the Champions League against Juventus in their opening game, but put that right in their second game of Europe’s elite competition.
It would be a major surprise if City ended this season without a trophy, because they look to have finally strengthened their team with the signings of De Bruyne and Sterling.
With Vincent Kompany set to return to their defence they also should start producing the sort of solid defensive displays they produced earlier in the campaign.
The Citizens have encountered injury problems with David Silva and Sergio Aguero both set for spells on the sidelines, but that should not impede their long-term ambitions this season.
At the moment with City top of the Premier League table, Manuel Pellegrini’s job prospects look pretty good, as we know football’s a funny old game, but I for one will certainly not be betting against City picking-up silverware this season.
Will Manchester City pick-up silverware this season?