Manchester City endured a disappointing 2012/13 season - one which was full of inconsistency, gaffes and controversy. They came second in the league but were well behind title winners Manchester United, they had a poor European campaign and were defeated in the FA Cup final which further compounded their misery.
Trophy-less and inconsolable, there were few cheers for Manchester City supporters this season. So what do the club need to ensure success in the forthcoming season?
Now Roberto Mancini has left, Manchester City are in need of a new manager. What was clear with Mancini is that he could not handle the array of ego’s that dominate the Manchester City dressing room. The Mario Balotelli saga was handled poorly and ineffectively - it was obvious to everyone in the football world that Balloteli could not be tamed and rather than being a positive influence he constantly undermined the club and placed them in a weak position.
Mancini’s trust and loyalty to Balotelli was ill-judged and far too lenient. A manger needs to create a team that has a strong sense of unity and focus, not a team which is constantly distracted by the antics of a player who has no interest in forging a team identity. City now need a manager who is a leader - strong-willed and will not tolerate behaviour which places the club in disrepute. Only then can City be led with a sense of purpose and ambition to achieve success on the domestic and European stages.
Secondly, City’s midfield has lacked excitement and creativity. For much of the season the midfield has been flat with only Yaya Toure and David Silva offering any of the energy and imagination that is needed to achieve trophies. Most poignant has been Samri Nasri’s disappointing season in which he has been the very epitome of inconsistency, showing bursts of speed and tantalising skill then being lethargic and uninspiring.
It is important that City dig deep in the transfer window to find a player who can offer creativity and link up with the front men in order for the team to score more goals. City need to show more confidence in the likes of Jack Rodwell and Abdul Razak, who have both shown glimpses of their potential but need to be given more playing time so that their talents can nurture and grow.
And finally, the striking department is in desperate need of a shake-up. Now Sergio Aguero has committed himself to Manchester City by signing contract extension, it is important that the new manager addresses the situation with the other strikers. With reports suggesting Carlos Tevez is edging closer to the Etihad exit and with Edin Dzeko’s future far from certain, the manager needs to know what he has to work with next season.
Dzeko has arguably had his best campaign in a City shirt, but his lack of playing time is likely to have unsettled the powerful striker. Dzeko's directness and lack of pace means his partnership with Aguero lacks the understanding and coherency that can fire the Citizens to great success. City need to buy a striker that can compliment the work of Ageuro, take part in build-up play and most importantly, score plenty of goals.
A change of manager, revitalisation of the midfield and a striker of real quality will boost Manchester City’s chances of success next season. If the team can move forward with a sense of unity, then there's no reason why the blue half of Manchester cannot compete on all fronts next season.
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