Superbia in Proelio – just about every Manchester City fan can master at least the one Latin phrase – Pride in Battle.
On the basis of a sizzling summer of transfer deals, maybe City fans should add another to their bi-lingual repertoire – Professionales in Negotium – Professional in Business.
While Chelsea’s Roman roubles were falling on stony ground at Goodison Park, Arsenal were restricting themselves to just one £11m cheque for Cech and Manchester United and Real Madrid were behaving like spoilt brats in the David De Gea blame game, Manchester City were quietly and efficiently, sealing an array of high quality deals.
As other clubs scurried in an unseemly transfer deadline day scramble, having seen their arrogance earlier in the ‘window’ backfire, City were serenely absent from the last minute wheeling and dealing.
With Manuel Pellegrini’s team sitting aloft the Premier League with the only 100% record after four games, and coming off the back of a club record 10/10 league wins on the spin, City emerged as the perceived big winners in the summer market.
The stellar acquisitions of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi have instilled a heady mixture of speed, creativity, guile and steel into a squad that was already looking the part.
City broke their previous record transfer spend twice in the summer and are set fair to reap rich dividends, with Sterling and KDB combining with Aguero and Silva in a sumptuous attacking formation.
A distasteful character assassination of Sterling – fuelled by ex-Liverpool players outraged that the 20-year old England international had the temerity to leave Anfield – has been extinguished thanks to his contribution to City’s flying start.
Even the protracted process to bring KDB – the Bundesliga’s Player of the Year – to the Etihad was conducted with dignity and decorum – unlike Jose Mourinho’s sour utterances on the 24-year old Belgian playmaker and goal-taker.
Maureen’s bilious comments are in keeping with the ‘Special Needs One’s’ delusional behaviour this season following his spat with the lovely Dr Eva, City’s ‘fake’ win over Chelsea, the ‘undeserved’ red cards for his keeper and captain, not forgetting his abject failures in the transfer market.
By contrast City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, is now having his ‘time in the sun’ after the club’s most productive transfer dealings since 2011, and the arrival of a certain Sergio Aguero.
Much heralded from his time at Barcelona, spearheading player acquisitions with Pep Guardiola, Txiki was on borrowed time – at least in the eyes of many City fans – having somewhat underwhelmed in five previous transfer windows.
Even now, he can only be judged by how City go on to perform in the wake of the approximate £150m spend, but on face value, Begiristain has bagged some class acts for now and the future.
At just £8m and still only 25-years old, Fabian Delph is destined to be so much more than the ‘bit part’ ‘benchwarmer’ that the media would have us believe. He could well emerge as a very shrewd purchase way beyond that of simply fulfilling ‘homegrown’ quotas.
Argentine centre back Otamendi brings a wealth of experience and know-how to City, and at just 27 years, is the oldest of City quartet of key incomings. Eliaquim Mangala – despite his excellent start to the season – will be under pressure to hang on to his starting berth.
Not only have City recruited top quality, they have also reduced the average age of what was often the oldest starting XI in the Premier League last season.
Txiki has also been prominent in planning ahead, signing four bright prospects who could be pushing for a place in the first team squad in the coming years.
Patrick Roberts from Fulham, Aleix Garcia from Villarreal, Enes Unal from Bursaspor and David Faupala from RC Lens, could figure among the next generation of flair players to adorn the Etihad.
Young Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho made his PL debut off the bench in the 2-0 win over Watford, and, clearly Pellegrini has faith that the 18-year can bring something to the party this season.
The loan to Galatasaray of Jason Denayer and the permanent moves to Monaco and Almeria of Marcos Lopes and Jose Angel Pozo, had some fans bemoaning the lack of Academy ‘products’ breaking through, even to the extent of questioning the worth of the £200m+ CFA.
It’s not a view held by one of Manchester City’s biggest critics – Bayern Munich President Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Rummenigge has consistently sniped at the Etihad hierarchy since the Abu Dhabi riches flowed in, acutely aware that City threatened to break up the cartel of established European powers.
As a prime mover and shaker in supporting UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, Karl-Heinz and some of his criminal colleagues at the Allianz Arena, have been vocal in backing any measures to suppress City’s rise to prominence.
One wonders at his motives when he is quoted in the German press, saying: “I’ve taken a look at Manchester City’s youth academy and all I can say is it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Is the arrogant Bayern boss trying to get onside before FFP is neutered by the European Court, or is he getting his excuses in early if German club football is to be left in the wake of the riches and investment of the Premier League’s elite?
Kevin De Bruyne snubbed Bayern Munich, PSG and none other than Manchester United, to come to the Etihad in the biggest deal of the summer.
They’ve only played 360 minutes of PL football and already, City have reversed the eight point deficit Chelsea held at the end of last season. Unfortunately, titles aren’t won by the end of August.
Nonetheless it bodes well.
Players who’d looked jaded, almost de-motivated, for long periods are sharp and hungry to right the individual and collective wrongs of 2014/15.
There’s no World Cup hangover, no African Cup of Nations and no sulking squad members.
Pellegrini has injected a fiery competitive spirit into his squad, along with fluid formations a million miles removed from the stodge and predictability of his previously preferred 4-4-2.
City’s detractors –make no mistake they’re out there willing and waiting for the Sky Blues to slip up – are having to stomach humble pie…for now.
With the transfer window now closed and tedious talk of ‘net spends’ dulled, City fans are focused on nets of a different kind – watching those of their opponents bulge, quiver and ripple!
By David Walker
www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu