Enough cover to cover the cover.

by Eliot Rothwell

Managers say it all the time. The timeless remedy to an over expanded squad. The single, solitary sentence that justifies the decision to sign yet another player in yet another position where you already have enough cover to cover the cover. “We need two world class players in every position,” purred Roberto Mancini, the latest manager to utilise the goalpost-shifting phrase. But do you really need two “word class” players in every position and has anybody ever had two world class players in every position?

The obvious, and correct answer, is no. Even the mighty Barcelona, beacon of footballing greatness, cannot boast to have two truly world class players in every position. Yes, they have ludicrous quantities of gifted footballers but can you honestly say that the goalkeeping cover at Barcelona is world class? After all, is Victor Valdes even world class?

Manchester City certainly don’t have two world class players in every position, they are still trying to structure the club and build the squad into accommodating one world class player in each position. And they’re doing a decent job of it. The signings of David Silva and Yaya Toure bring not only two more gifted footballers to the club; they also bring a winning culture. Silva, a World Cup and European Championships winner and Toure, a Champions League winner, will add the steel needed to chase titles, and may bring some success too!

The latest signing, Alexander Kolarov, sees Mancini returning home to Lazio to storm the breaches of Rome to capture the much coveted left-back. Kolarov is not world class, but he could be. As Manchester City grow as a club and as a name, players like Kolarov will have to grow as a player and as a name to avoid being relegated to the bench for yet another summer signing.

Manchester City’s millions do not just give them carté blanche to chase the world’s most coveted players it also gives the players at Manchester City the drive to perform, knowing that a bad six months could see them become just another squad player as the January transfer window looms and City will be able to flex their financial muscles all over again.

3 Responses

  1. Callum Tyler says:

    I’m much more pleased with the state of our squad this summer than I was even last summer. We seem to have the tactics right in this transfer window – buying the talented younger player from abroad that hasn’t won in England yet (James Milner the exception) instead of the well established EPL players like last time round. That team had done it all already and didn’t seem to care as much. With the exceptions of perhaps Shay Given and Carlos Tevez.

    This season though we’ll have a very young squad. Although hopefully with some much needed experiance in the right places.

    Here’s a couple of line ups for next season;

    The talented youngers with pace and flair.
    Hart
    Boateng Onouha Kompany Kolarov

    De Jong Toure

    Milner Silva A. Johnson
    Balotelli

    Certainly a talented side. The ‘old’ guard;

    Given
    Zabaleta Toure Lescott Bridge
    Vieira
    SWP Barry Bellamy
    Tevez Adebayor

    Of course now there are an awful lot of other players still around at city.

    Jo
    Robinho
    Michael Johnson
    Valdimir Weiss
    Kelvin Etuhu
    Valerie Boijinov
    Felipe Caicedo
    etc
    etc

    Certainly interesting times…

  2. subjectiveobjectivity says:

    Not all of the proposed players have been transferred as of yet I believe, but I wouldn’t bet against them going through. As a Chelsea fan i’m getting a sense of déjà vu from a good many years ago now!

    I think any fan should be wary about Mancini finding a unit, particuarly in defensive terms – quite a few of the back fours suggested were not truly gelled units last season, though I trust Mancini’s Italian sensibility will have him start with just that issue. That won’t quite mean Catenaccio, as Mancini says,

    The same problem goes for attack as well: the link-up play just didn’t cut for much of some games – although the moments of magic from the talented personnel did sprout occasionally before the team gathered togetherness and finished in a respectable position for a squad in such an overhaul.

    Can Mancini do it? Well, Mancini said himself that Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have all spent considerable amounts, and that City doing this now is no different.

    I think he’s right, and that city will certainly challenge the quip of the ‘Big Four’ this season with a more unified, solid squad under a clever manager. Although i’m still excited to see how unified they are in the face of English footballs less desierable haunts – i’m not naming names here.

    In truth, i’m a bit frightened, but, if they play nice football, i’m sure it’ll only add to the quality of this season and seasons to come.

    1. subjectiveobjectivity says:

      I meant to quote Mancini at the end of the 2nd paragraph but couldn’t find a source…ahem….

      Anyway, he talks about his gradual adaptation to the English game and how now he has grasped the challenge by the balls – to paraphrase wildly. Hence, defensive solidity the English way?

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