I am hoping to do a few of these different posts as the season comes to an end with other people writing a review of the season for the club they follow. For the first instalment Andrew Belfield is going to give us an insight into his views on the 09/10 season as a Manchester City fan:
Am I dreaming, could it possibly be one of the best sporting weeks for a City fan in living memory! On reflection of the past 8 days of football, it seems like the results are going City’s way. Firstly our 6 – 1 demolition of Burnley and then Yesterday another high scoring win against Birmingham. Both Adebayor and Tevez grabbing goals by the bagful! Not only has the city team “clicked” this week, but it was furthered by the results of our “noisy neighbours”. Not only is their title challenge fizzling out, but Arjen Robben's sweetly hit left foot volley was a true delight to watch as Bayern sent United crashing out of Europe.
At the start of the season I stood firmly behind Mark Hughes, but felt his days as city coach were numbered. On reflection I do think the appointment of Mancini has brought the best out of some of the players. He has a greater aura than Hughes did and quickly dealt with an out of form an unhappy Robinho. Is he the manager that will take us to tournament glory... I’m still undecided. I think an appointment such as Hiddink would have justified the sacking of Hughes more than the eventual appointment of Mancini. Despite my uncertainty it is now imperative we give Mancini another season. Over the past few weeks numerous papers have said his time is up, but it would be a travesty to sack him. It would be our 4th manager since 2007, and in my opinion would be a step backwards in our goal of European Football and a trophy.
I think the reason why I am most excited about this season is we have something to play for in the last 5 games of the season, for the first time in years. Ever since our promotion back in 2002, we have been a solid mid table team, however the prospect of champions league football looms large. Since our takeover we’ve run the slogan “Blue Moon Rising” and hopefully in 5 weeks time we can take a step forward and being playing on the world’s biggest stage.
I am under no illusions about the difficulty of the task that lies ahead in the coming weeks, Firstly against our Noisy Neighbours, and fixtures against Arsenal and Villa are all tough games. But I feel ultimately that 4th Place will be decided at Eastlands against Tottenham. For once I am feeling confident as a City fan that we will do it!
Although all too often I have jumped on the city roller-coaster and being left disappointed. I would not at all be surprised if we beat Tottenham but throw Fourth place away on the final game of the season at West Ham. It would be classic City, the City that many other football fans from around the country love for their chronic underachievement.
Is this going to be the year when the Blue Moon rises? Without doubt anything but Fourth place will be considered a disappointment by the city fans, the club is changing and we will hopefully be playing in the glamorous champions league next season. The job is still not done by City, it will be a long road to Trophy success which is what all the City fans crave, and the banner being removed from the Stretford end.
Looking to next season now, I ask what do City, with the copious amounts of money at their disposal, need to do to elevate the club higher. Ultimately our summer transfer policy will be determined by the final champions league space. But I ask for your opinions on who you think would be a good signing for city. Do we buy young British players like Johnson who has been one of city’s biggest successes this season or bolster our squad with more big names?
I leave you with the thought about City’s upcoming encounter with the red half of Manchester. It could be a day to savour for City fans, effectively ending United hopes of a title, and consolidating our grip on fourth place, or will it, like the last minute 4-3 defeat earlier in the season, leave a sour taste in the mouths of the City faithful.
Score predictions please ... I fancy a cheeky punt on another 6 – 1 hammering at the hands of a certain Carlos Tevez.