The Big Game: Manchester City vs Chelsea
Written by Shaun Wares
Sheik-en but not stirred
The Big Game: Manchester City vs. Chelsea
Today’s clash sees a head to head between the nation’s biggest spending clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea. In the past two years, City fans have seen a complete re-organisation of what was a mediocre mid-table club, into a truly unstoppable spending force, capable of blowing any competition out of the water with the transfer kitty available to them.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are an unstoppable winning force, a machine able to grind out results week-by-week, and the reigning Premier League Champions. They are a team full of winners with a wealth of Premier League experience, drive, and direction. City are struggling to gel, whereas Chelsea have solid foundations, a key core of players, and a strong bench, a formidable challenge to any team.
City have scored only six goals from their opening games, whereas Chelsea have been free-scoring. Both teams have an embarrassment of attacking riches, almost watertight defences, and are fast on the break. Today promises to be an end-to-end affair, but it is almost impossible to predict a score-line with the mismatched form of both teams. Can City turn around their fortunes, or can Chelsea open up an almost insurmountable ten point deficit between the two teams? Many would have predicted City to challenge Chelsea for their Premier League crown this season; I do not.
With the money spent at Manchester City to rebuild the squad, I cannot help but draw comparisons between them and Chelsea in the early part of the Abrahmovic era. In order to build the squad that they have, Chelsea have made their fair share of mistakes. Take for example Adrian Mutu, Andriy Shevchenko, Alexei Smertin. The pressure on Mancini to go and spend Sheik Mansour’s billions mirrors the plight of Claudio Ranieri. The Manchester City squad is full of expensive players, with big wage packets, attacking flair and excellent reputations on the continent, very much like Ranieri’s early signings. They too, fell short of obtaining any major honours.
The money spent at these two clubs has made one key difference in my opinion. Take for example, the mid-week Carling Cup game between Tottenham and Arsenal. It was not Arsenal’s youngsters that finished off Tottenham in extra-time, but the first team regulars. With big money spent on capturing the League title, we may have seen the resurgence of the Carling Cup as a credible piece of silverware for the other teams in the big five. We shall have to wait and see.
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