The take over of Manchester City last season led many City fans to believe that they could be the new Chelsea. Despite spending more than ever, a great start to the season, and doing better than they had for a long time, their rebirth as the new Chelsea didn’t happen. It has now.
The Abu Dhabi United Group have transformed City to a club with new heights to scale and and challenges to compete for. That the take over and transformation happened over night, and on the last day of transfer activity, means that we are unlikely to feel the effect of this move until January, when the transfer window reopens, at the earliest.
There will however be a few nervous glances over their shoulders by the big four. While Spurs and Everton have flirted with the hope of a top four finish, and the Champions League that is the reward, there is now a realistic chance, and hope, that a real sustained challenge is on the horizon.
This news will worry Liverpool, and maybe Arsenal the most. Chelsea may now have the second richest backer in football, but they still have the financial clout to keep buying their way into title challenges, and ensuring a top four finish for years to come. United have never finished out of the top three since the Premiership began, and as they have shown with back to back titles, after a three year drought, they relish the challenge of competing against the irresponsible spending of the blank cheque Chelsea. Arsenal have never been a big spending team, and are starting to look like a selling club at times, but instead rely on the prodigious talent and potential of their young stars. At times Arsenal are the best team in the country, and the world, and on rare occasions they are muscled out of games and end up chasing third place and not first. They will have a cautious look at what is happening in Manchester now, especially since they have refused to entertain the idea of being bought out by many on looking billionaires.
The most nervous of all the big four will be Liverpool. They have some of the best players in the world in Steven Gerrard and, inparticular, Fernando Torres, and have added the guile and unorthodix skill of Robbie Keane to their ranks. Keane and Torres could be the best strike duo in Europe. The potential is there, they complement each other, the only thing they need, and this is where Liverpool have failed over the last 18 years, is for them to click. The back ground squabling by the owners, the manager, the chief executive and anyone else who cares to have a go, that has made Liverpool a virtual laughing stock of the elite clubs, and the news of yet more problems with the planned new stadium, mean that Liverpool are at risk of losing their top four place to the new kid on the block, Manchester City.
City wasted no time in flexing their new financial might, with bids for Robinho, Berbatov, Torres, Villa, van Nistelrooy and another player, thought to be Huntelaar of Ajax. All bids were over the British record mark of 30 million pounds that Chelsea paid for Schevchenko, with the Torres bid in excess of 50 million. They only managed to bring in Robinho from Real Madrid for a new British Record of 32 million pounds. Significantly they signed Robinho when he appeared to be heading to Chelsea, who had even been selling shirts with his name on the back last week. Come January they have made it known that they will be spending whatever it takes to bring the best players in the world to Eastlands. Bids for Christiano Ronaldo, thought to be 135 million pounds, Cesc Fabregas and Buffon (70 million pounds) are in the pipe line, as well as many many more.
Chelsea’s new transformation under Abromovic saw a spree of spending that could not be believed. City look to make that look small. These are interesting times for English football, and with the league crying out for a challanger to the top four it seems they may have found one.
Buying success may not always work, but it has for Chelsea, so why not City?
Pic from teamtalk.com