Manchester City season review

The Background

City were the defending Premier League champions having won the title twice in three years and would have expected to win it again with their quality squad. Judging by the inspired way they played when winning last year's League title who could deny them. 

City boss Manuel Pellegrini's priority would have been to defend the League title, target success in Europe and win whatever other trophies were on offer.

The Signings
There were a number of player movements at City with Wilfried Bony joining from Swansea for £28.0m, FC Porto duo Eliaquim Mangala for £32.0m and Fernando for an undisclosed fee. Willy Caballero joined from Malaga for an undisclosed free in mid-July. Bacary Sagna joined from Arsenal in June for free plus they also got Bruno Zuculini back from Valencia in February when his loan deal was up. Chelsea legend Frank Lampard was loaned to City by new Major League Soccer side New York City FC for the season. 

A total of 24 players were transferred, released or loaned out by the club.

The Season
The season was not great for City who won nothing after so much was expected of the club. As defending champions they finished the league in second place eight points behind champions Chelsea and four ahead of third-placed Arsenal.

Chelsea only lost three league games for the season compared to City's seven but what was worse, some of the losses were against sides that they were expected to beat. All the losses in the league were as follows: In August to Stoke, in October to West Ham, in January to Arsenal, in March to Burnley and Liverpool, in April to Manchester United and Crystal Palace.

They would have expected to beat the likes of Stoke, West Ham, Burnley and Crystal Palace and with draws against teams struggling in the league like Hull City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers one can understand why they failed to defend their title or be closer to Chelsea.   

One of the other problems was that 2013/14 star performer Yaya Toure, who scored 20 goals last season, was nowhere only scoring 10 league goals and did not seem the player he was. In November they were eight points behind Chelsea but recovered to be challenging at the top of the table on New Year's Day but the challenge fell away when they went four games in a row without a win.

In the Champions League they reached the Last 16 before being beaten by Barcelona. This is something that didn’t sit well with club management and fans as one always felt that City had the squad to get further.

Middlesbrough brought their FA Cup run to an end beating them in the fourth round. 

In the Capital One Cup they got knocked out in the fourth round by Newcastle United.

Player of the Year: Sergio Aguero
Aguero finished the season strongly to help City secure second spot when it seemed they may be letting it slip.

The Argentine notched up 26 league goals and eight assists despite having injury problems. He scored 31 goals in 41 games in all competitions and had he had better support and not being injured City's season could have been different. 

Disappointments: 
One of the things that seems to be a problem throughout the season for City was they seemed to lose focus at times. They went four games without a win and then would go on a run and win six on the trot, which is something that teams like Chelsea don't do. 
Losing 4-2 to Manchester United at Old Trafford was something that did not go down well with fans.

New signing defender Eliaquim Mangala from FC Porto was thought to be a great acquisition but failed to deliver at all and will need to show something more for the £32.0m spent, next season.  

The Verdict:
Despite having an up and down season City did finish second in the league even though at times it looked like they may finish outside the top four. They did qualify to automatically play in the Champions League. 

Good news for next season is that UEFA confirm that City will not be subject to a net spending restriction, provided they meet the terms of the settlement agreement they signed in 2014.  

Coach Pellegrini looked to be on his way out of the club at one stage and if he is retained it will be thanks to finishing second on the table. There is nothing wrong with his coaching pedigree and should in all likelihood be retained.

FOX Sports Asia season rating: 7/10

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