Manchester City: End of Season Review

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Credit: Skysports.com

League Position

4th

League Record

W19, D9, L10 (50% win rate)

The Good

Amid a troubled season for the once-title favourites,de Bruyne, Fernandinho, Aguero, and Iheanacho have continued to show excellence. Aguero and de Bruyne have been the most obvious standouts, but special praise must be reserved for the Nigerian academy product Iheanacho, whose final tally as City’s joint-second goal-scorer is an impressive return from a season made primarily of substitute and second-string appearances.

A second League Cup in three years is never a bad thing, and the club’s first appearance in the Champion’s League semi-final shows progression from the consistent continental struggles of the side under Roberto Mancini.

The Bad

With the arrival of Pep Guardiola, there are a few players whose poor campaign this season, along with other factors, looks set to see them heading out of Etihad exit door. Perhaps the most disappointing is Yaya Toure, who has completed a journey from being the side’s bulldozing heartbeat to his state now as a plodding liability in big games. Equally disappointing is his Ivorian teammate Bony, who has never looked so far away from his large price tag as he has at times this season. A couple of great performances – most notably his influential intervention in the home group game against Gladbach – cannot disguise a campaign defined by poor positional intelligence and a lethargic pressing game that looks truly doomed in the likely system of the incoming Catalonian.

They may have got their place in the top four, but it was after a domestic campaign riddled with rank, often inexcusable inconsistency. A single victory over the rest of the top eight, both home and away, stinks of a side either under-motivated or under-managed to cope in the big-game domestic environment. Their porous defence has also been a problem all campaign, with sides always likely to get a good chance and then continue to score once they initially breach it. Kompany or not, it is inexcusable for such a successful and (yes) expensive side to consistently look so shaky at the back.

The ugly

Martin Demichelis’s turn of pace.

The Future

A new manager, a significant player turnover and a no-doubt massive transfer splurge looks likely during this summer. The numerous names linked will no doubt be replacements, not additions, to a side that has been due a renovation for several years. With much of the Mancini-era spine aging or leaving this summer, Pep’s arrival in England could yet be his biggest and hardest managerial challenge to date

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3 comments

  1. Steven McDonald · May 20, 2016

    From a supporters point of view sitting in a pub discussing the season with a fan of another team. Winning a trophy and reaching a champions league semi final seems like a good result.
    On paper though, with the level of investment offered, season 2015/16 will never be remembered as a good season for Manchester City.

    The Gillingham play-off final is now not the benchmark that success is measured by at Manchester City and without trying to sound like a spoilt brat a capital one cup and champions league semi final is not enough for the board.
    When I got up at 5am to watch the champions league semi final 2nd leg against a weak (by Reals’s standards) Madrid team, I was shocked at the lack of optimism on display. For 60% of that team THAT game will be the biggest game they ever play in and to retreat into your shell like a petrified Hermit crab just wasn’t good enough.
    They needed 1 goal with 10 mins to go, why were they so timid? Poorly managed? Lack of belief? I can’t answer that, all I know is a Guardiola team would go down swinging at the very least.

    Like

    • Open Veins of Football · May 21, 2016

      Bet you were glad to get up at 5am for that! From an outsider Pellegrini seems like a decent bloke who’s done a decent job, but I agree, with the investment “just” getting to a Champions League semi isn’t good enough. Pep’s seen to have “failed” at Bayern but I disagree. He’ll be desperate to go one better with City now though.

      Like

  2. Christopher Worrall · May 21, 2016

    Thanks for the comment! Where abouts are you following the blues from?

    The Real performance was such a low; a winnable chance that a team bottled through what I think was stage fright. Clearly, under prepared for such a big night, as they choked completely.

    On the plus side, Pep never has sides that merely surrender. For anything else that may go wrong, he will push this team to within an inch of its life!

    Like

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