Manchester City: Can they make Champions League challenge?
After two seasons of disappointment - can Manchester City become one of the contenders for Champions League glory next season?
In the last two seasons Manchester City have failed in their attempts at claiming the top prize in European football, exiting the Champions League in the group stages both times.
City have failed to get out of the group stages in the past two seasons and last year failed to win a single game - eventually ending bottom of the group.
With such a strong team and a seemingly unlimited bank balance what is going wrong for the Citizens in Europe's top competition?
Here, we look at how City can compete in Europe in future years:
Support the manager:
Let's face it, getting a job at a Premier League club as a manager is not a guaranteed job for life. Some clubs go through managers faster than a chameleon changes colour. But some of the best clubs stick with what they have got and look towards long term success rather than short term results. The obvious example is Sir Alex Ferguson; in almost 26 years he has won numerous trophies and made Manchester United one of the most successful clubs in the world.
Now for City, with Manuel Pellegrini in charge, they will need to implement his ideas quickly and work on a way to consistently challenge for titles and achieve European success.
The board and owners of City need to learn from their mistakes with Roberto Mancini, coming out and publically criticising him and undermining him was completely unforgivable. Any issues that they have with the manager should be kept between the two parties and not let it escape into the media as it can cause a lot of disharmony inside and outside of the club.
City must give Pellegrini a season to prove himself, once the campaign is over see where they end up and what they need to do and improve.
Bring the squad together:
Their seems to be disharmony within the City squad - highly paid players have come into the squad at the Etihad and have brought with them very large egos.
Some players believe they are untouchable and if things don't go their way they further disrupt proceedings within the squad.
We've seen this previously with Carlos Tevez and his refusal to come off the bench when his club needed him most.
The new manager will need to put some members of the squad in their rightful place, showing them that he is the boss and what he says goes.
Look at long term solutions:
Too many times in the modern game, players and managers are not given time to succeed. Managers have been fired after less than a season, players are sold after a single season because they haven't adapted quickly enough.
Realistically, City will not win the Champions League in the next three years. Especially with new manager Pellegrini at the helm, it will take time for his new side to adapt to his ways.
The manager will need minimum of two seasons in order to get his ideas and style of play across to his squad.
For the next two seasons the club should focus on pushing for a better position in their Champions League group. Instead of finishing last, they should at least aim to get into a Europa League position and test the squad in an equally challenging and tough competition, something that Chelsea found out last season.
There will be no immediate fix to the European problems of the club, it's going to be a progressive build that will need work, money and a certain degree of luck - City have had some very strong groups in recent years and if they get a slightly easier group they may stand a chance of making it further.
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