It sounds bizarre saying this about one of the world’s richest football clubs, but it is true that Manchester City’s generally disappointing performance this season can be credited to their stuttering efforts in the transfer window last summer.
Look at what their targets were and what they actually achieved: Daniele De Rossi was clearly Mancini’s number one desire, what with his ability to play in midfield or defence, ideal for Mancini’s summertime wish to have a shifting system in-play. Mancini has attempted to play a 3-man defence, but De Rossi’s cheaper, less good, alternative Javi Garcia hasn’t impressed particularly in midfield or defence, and City have struggled whenever they’ve attempted to play three defenders.
Aside from this, Maicon felt a bizarre signing, not an improvement on either first choice right-back Zabaleta nor Micah Richards, who has been on the sidelines for much of the season. Scott Sinclair simply hasn’t appeared much (if at all) for them, as many predicted. The signing of Jack Rodwell was called into question not only by City fans, but also fans of Everton, who felt they had come out very well from the deal. Nastasic is possibly the only summer signing to have made a palpable impact.
Mancini today levelled the blame at the feet of Brian Marwood, formerly responsible for transfer dealings. The two had been clearly fighting since the summer, if not before, and the summer’s awful dealings was likely the result of political plays from Marwood. Possibly hoping to weaken Mancini by providing him with players he did not ask for, it has instead given Mancini an obvious excuse for a weak season, and probably explains why the City fans have not turned, even if second place should be considered a decent position, given the years of torment City fans have suffered before recent successes.
The biggest mistake, it must be said, was missing out on Robin Van Persie. It sounds obvious saying it, but City should not have passed up the opportunity to sign him for £20 million. The number of goals he has provided should not be so easily available for that price. This summer they need to recruit a top goalscorer, and you imagine they will, with Falcao and Cavani seemingly outgrowing their current clubs.
Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).