Manchester City: Sign Marco Reus, Pray Negredo Isn't A Donkey...
Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?
It's been a relatively decent pre-season with a win in the Barclays Asia Trophy and a thumping of AC Milan. We lost out to Bayern Munich but then there's not much shame in that these days, especially given that they're closer to the start of the season. All of the new boys have had a run out and there's been enough to suggest that we might have picked up a gem or two. Matija Nastasic's injury has been the one negative from pre-season, and even that could have been worse...
Hopes for the season:
City fans, staff and players alike will be looking for success this season. Although we've come very far very quickly, expectations mean that another trophy-less season will be considered a failure. And with the money spent in the summer, you can't really argue. Winning the league and/or the Champions League would do nicely!
Fears for the season:
A slow start, sensational headlines and pressure on the manager and new players. Realistically, they might take a little while to gel and Pellegrini may still be uncertain about his best XI but this won't stop the newspapers starting a feeding frenzy at the first sign of dropped points.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept:
Putting up a better effort in the league than last year. The way City performed through the season was difficult to take, especially given that we effectively handed the title back to United without even a murmur.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
I'd say the derby but then I absolutely dread it. We always seem to have decent games against Chelsea and Arsenal though. Spurs is usually a nail biter too.
Got the right manager?
Well, we'll soon see. Pellegrini is completely unproven in the Premier League but he doesn't seem particularly flappable. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts when the pressure is really on and the journalists are on his back.
By Christmas you’ll be…
Top of the League (or near abouts). Hopefully the team will be in full flow by Christmas and we'll have opened up an unassailable lead at the top. But I'd take being top on goal difference too...
Player you’d most like to sign?
I'm pretty gutted we missed out on Isco to be honest, I'd have loved to see him at the Etihad this season. Bale, Thiago Silva, Reus would all be nice too...
Which player should we look out for?
Alvaro Negredo will either score a hatful or none at all. He impressed against Bayern and, after missing a number of gilt-edged chances, scored a cracker with his weaker foot. If he, Silva and Navas can click then that left boot thumping the ball into the net might be a frequent sight.
Which player would you love to ditch?
I'm not quite sure how Aleksandr Kolarov is still getting away with pretending to be a left back. He's an absolute liability anywhere near our penalty area and makes more bad decisions than the rest of the team combined. Until we can play with special teams and Kolarov as a free kick taker, he can sit it out for me.
Opposition hate figure?
Well, Rooney doesn't have much of a bond with the City faithful but then it doesn't look like he'll have too many friends at Old Trafford this season either. Phil Jones has become something of a figure of fun these days too, which is nice.
Tell us something we don’t know about your club?
Jamie Oliver's going to be in charge of the food in the stadium this year, apparently mixing fan favourites with new items too. Not the most exciting news in the world, but it's an improvement on the blue ketchup at least...
What won’t happen this season?
City going down with a billion in the bank. Hopefully this last round of summer spending has secured our Premier League status for another year. Oh god, I've just jinxed it haven't I?
'We're not really here'. As apt now as it ever has been!
Where will you finish?
Top. I'm feeling strangely optimistic today and think we'll put up a real good effort this year. I fully expect this optimism to have dissipated by 19th August...