The Billion Dollar Baby

Since the beginning of the Premiership era there has been a constant increase in the influx of money in the modern game. For all who believe in the saying that “Money can’t buy happiness” can very well say it’s not at all applicable in football. Yes, money can’t buy happiness but it can buy you success. “The Columbian rise as a footballing nation with the involvement of drug money?” Ah, another topic. Let us stick to the Premier League sides. Chelsea has experienced it in recent years, Manchester City too. Plus the recent downfall and backfiring of Wenger’s ideology strengthens the “Splash the Ca$h” principle and makes the fans demand more of “investing in players”. The quick rise and mantle of strength can be seen of clubs like City and Chelsea as European power houses in the recent past years.

manchester city splashing the cash

MOOLAH  INVOLVED   (Since 2007/08)

Elano

8,000,000

Vedran Corluka

8,000,000

Rolando Bianchi

8,800,000

Robinho

32,500,000

Shay Given

8,000,000

Craig Bellamy

14,000,000

Nigel De Jong

16,000,000

Vincent Kompany

6,700,000

Shaun Wright Phillips

9,000,000

Jo

18,000,000

Wayne Bridge

12,000,000

Joleon Lescott

22,000,000

Jack Rodwell

15,000,000

Javi Garcia

16,000,000

Kolo Toure

16,000,000

Adebayor

25,000,000

Carlos Tevez

25,500,000

Gareth Barry

12,000,000

Roque Santa Cruz

17,500,000

Adam Johnson

7,000,000

Edin Dzeko

27,000,000

James Milner

26,000,000

David Silva

25,000,000

Aleksander Kolarov

17,000,000

Mario Ballotelli

24,500,000

YaYa Toure

24,000,000

Scott Sinclair

8,000,000

Matija Nastasic

12,000,000

Jerome Boateng

11,000,000

Samir Nasri

22,000,000

Sergio Aguero

38,000,000

Gael Clichy

7,000,000

      *Figures in £
*Price with add-ons

Total Expenditure: 538,500,000 £

The above figures and data are only the big name signings specified; a typical case of blindly buying the players and failure in capitalizing the potential of the players. Jerome Boateng and Adam Johnson are the only players to be sold for a profit from the list and heavy loss business is being carried forward, with Brazilian Robinho being the biggest flop.

It is the manager’s duty to buy players and build a team around it accordingly. Daniel Sturridge was sold off for a mere £4 million without gauging the potential the lad holds. Blind faith and money given by the owners is being wasted rather being well exploited by the management.

Manchester City's star signings

“If I was a young lad, I wouldn’t go to City. It is excellent when a club like City come for you. Hard to turn  down. But you don’t actually play for the champions – you’re a squad member, which is totally different. I think it would only be a matter of time before senior players become unhappy.”

“You can probably have too many world-class players at once – everyone wants to play and they’re not happy to be squad players. You’re going to have trouble picking a team, and leaving people in the stands. I was one of them last season.”

– Adam Johnson



EUROPE – STILL A MYSTERY?

Money definitely made them capable of playing at a higher level in Europe but it cannot buy you luck or character to win in crunch situations abroad and unfamiliar conditions. Two years in a row City has managed to bedazzle everyone by showing how bad an English side can be at the European stage.

Last year it was Napoli and Bayern Munchen, this year it was Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund. If you believe in saying that City are new to the stage and probably should be given time to set foot on European stage then why is the money thrown around? To be the Champions of England but jokers of Europe ? Borussia Dortmund are the living example of how well a team can adapt and still be world class at this stage with logical team building within financial limits.

Who is to be blamed here? The players, or the manager? The pitch, or maybe the temperature? I hope money can take care of that.

CITY – THE BIG GAME LOOSE CRACKERS

Success cannot be achieved within a day; Agreed. City have splashed the cash around a lot but they have not been so called “Big Match Team” as they haven’t performed really well in crunch games or possible title contenders.

Season 2007-08

sven goran eriksson former manchester city manager

 Teams     City Home     City Away
Manchester United     1 – 0      1 – 2
Arsenal     1 – 3      1 – 0
Chelsea     0 – 2      6 – 0
Tottenham Hotspur     2 – 1      2 – 1
Liverpool     0 – 0      1 – 0

League Position 9th with 55 points.

Season 2008-09

 Teams     City Home    City Away
Manchester United     0 – 1      2 – 0
Arsenal     3 – 0      2 – 0
Chelsea     3 – 1      1 – 0
Tottenham Hotspur     1 – 2      2 – 1
Liverpool     2 – 3      1 – 1

League position 10th with 50 points.

Season 2009-10

mark hughes former manchester city manager

 Teams     City Home    City Away
Manchester United     0 – 1      4 – 3
Arsenal     4 – 2      0 – 0
Chelsea     2 – 1      2 – 4
Tottenham Hotspur     0 – 1      3 – 0
Liverpool     0 – 0      2 – 2

League position 5th with 67 points.

Season 2010-11

 Teams     City Home    City Away
Manchester United     0 – 0      2 – 1
Arsenal     0 – 3      0 – 0
Chelsea     1 – 0      2 – 0
Tottenham Hotspur     1 – 0      0 – 0
Liverpool     3 – 0      3 – 0

League position 3rd with 71 points.

Season 2011-12

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini - with Premier League Trophy

 Teams     City Home    City Away
Manchester United     1 – 0      1 – 6
Arsenal     1 – 0      1 – 0
Chelsea     2 – 1      2 – 1
Tottenham Hotspur     3 – 2      1 – 5
Liverpool     3 – 0      1 – 1

Winners with 89 points.

Season 2012-13

 Teams     City Home    City Away
Manchester United     2 – 3       –
Arsenal     1 – 1      0 – 2
Chelsea       –      0 – 0
Tottenham Hotspur     2 – 1       –
Liverpool       –      2 – 2

Out of total 50 matches excluding the current ongoing season City have lost 23 games and drawn 9 thereby earning a total of 54 points out of the possible 150. Manchester City won 8 out of 10 games against the big teams, and were undefeated at home during their Title winning season.

Therfore City’s position in the Premier League is directly proportional to their results against big teams especially at home, that is the trend seen in recent years. Apart from the season they have won the league they haven’t been on the greener side against the top teams. Add to that the dip in form and injury to their talismanic captain Vincent Kompany and their campaign ambitions are already looking bleak.

Manchester City have won the league two times apart from the 2011-12 season. One in 1936-37 above Charlton Athletic(drew on both the occasions) and in 1967-68 above Manchester United(lost home game and won away) and have finished 2nd on three occasions 1903-04, 1920-21, 1976-77 and won only 1 home game against Burnley otherwise on all other occasions they lost or drew but did not win to the ultimate champions viz. Wednesday, Burnley and Liverpool respectively both at home and away.

manchester city's title celebrations

City have never won the league if they have lost both their game against the immediate title contenders. On top of that Manchester United have lost the title to a club only if united have been defeated on both the occasions by the closest title contenders in the recent years. So for Manchester United is the job half done already?

With so many points already dropped this season is there any hope for city to win it or will they remain jinxed? The odds are greatly against City if we see the history books but after all who knows how the cards unfold.

– By Rohit Bhandari.

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