Manchester City Season Guide
Nickname: The Blues
Founded: 1887 as Ardwick FC, 1894 as Manchester City
Ground: The City of Manchester Stadium, Sportcity, Manchester M11 3FF
Ticket Office: 0161 828 1200
Home - Blue shirts with white trim, white shorts, violet socks
Away - Black and red striped shirts, black shorts and socks
Soccernet's Manchester City page | Full squad | Fixture list|
Soccernet's Manchester City Correspondent
Official Manchester City Website
Fan site - The Manchester City Supporters' Homepage
Fan site - Mancity.net
Unofficial website - Unofficial Sky Blues
Fan website - Bluemoon
|Last Season - Consolidation||Position: 9th|
Kevin Keegan began last season in confident mood, predicting that his side could finish in the top six. In truth, that was probably always going to be a step too far for his side, but in finishing ninth they can be satisfied with their achievements. Perhaps the most notable event for the club last season was the closure of Maine Road, with City heading for pastures new in the form of the City of Manchester Stadium, as well as the departure of goal-scoring legend Shaun Goater (right). Inconsistency was City's main problem. After a steady start, their form dipped alarmingly to put them on the verge of a relegation battle. A good run then saw them in the top half of the table and only a few points off the European places, but they then won only one of their final four games at Maine Road - and that win came, predictably, against Sunderland. An early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Liverpool failed to provide any interest outside of League competition. However, City earned a place in the UEFA Cup via the tradesman's entrance as they topped the fair play League.
|Transfers - In and Out|
Claudio Reyna (Sunderland) - £2.5m
Trevor Sinclair (West Ham) - £2.5m
Antoine Sibierski (RC Lens) - £700,000
Paul Bosvelt (Feyenoord) - Undisc.
Steve McManaman (Real Madrid) - Free
David Seaman (Arsenal) - Free
Michael Tarnat (Bayern) - Free
Lucien Mettomo (K'lautern) - £500,000
Kevin Horlock (West Ham) - £300,000
Steve Howey (Leicester) - Undisc.
Shaun Goater (Reading) - Undisc.
Niclas Jensen (B. Dortmund) - Undisc.
Tyrone Loran (Tranmere) - Undisc.
Brian Murphy (Swansea) - Free
Paul Ritchie (Walsall) - Free
Jeff Whitley (Sunderland) - Free
Darren Huckerby (Norwich) - Loan
Chris Shuker (Rochdale) - Loan
Vincente Vuoso (Santos) - Loan
Ali Bernabia - Released
Stephen Paisley - Released
Alf Inge Haaland - Retired
Peter Schmeichel - Retired
|First Choice XI|
1-David Seaman; 17-Sun Jihai, 2-David Sommeil, 5-Sylvain Distin, 18-Michael Tarnat; 29-Shaun Wright-Phillips, 24-Joey Barton, 26-Paul Bosvelt, 28-Trevor Sinclair, 8-Robbie Fowler, 39-Nicolas Anelka.
|The Gaffer - Kevin Keegan|
From a superb playing career to his hilarious singing exploits, Kevin Keegan is an entertainer in every sense of the word. It's that very style which has been transferred into his management career. Always going for broke, why be cautious when you can simply score more goals than the opposition? He began his coaching career with Newcastle United in the First Division, revitalising their fortunes and almost winning the Premiership. Remember, United had to go to Middlesbrough and win... Keegan quit the Magpies after the pressure got the better of him, and his next port of call was ambitious Second Division side Fulham. He would take them up as champions before his ill-fated spell with England. His tactical inadequacies were there for all to see as England crashed at Euro 2000 and lost the final game at Wembley to Germany. He took the Manchester City job two years ago, winning the First Division crown at the first attempt, and will now be looking to push on in the club's second season back in the Premiership. Keegan claims this job will be his last before retiring from the game for good.
|Player to Watch - Trevor Sinclair|
Only 12 months ago, Trevor Sinclair was basking in the glory of a superb World Cup campaign with England. Against all the odds, and the belief of the fans, he was one of the stars of the victory over Argentina and it appeared he could be the answer to England's left-side problem. But the former Queens Park Rangers winger suffered as West Ham struggled in the Premiership, meaning he won only two further England caps over the course of the 2002/03 season. West Ham's relegation meant that Sinclair was always likely to move on - having wanted to leave Upton Park in the past - and the £2.5million move to the City of Manchester Stadium will give him the chance to play in an attacking side with a quality forward line. Many may feel that, at the age of 30, his chances with England will be few and far between, but a good season with City could yet change that. City have lost a lot of creativity from the centre of the park this summer, and Sinclair will be responsible for putting that back in the side.
|Young Gun - Joey Barton|
An unknown Joey Barton burst onto the scene last season with City. But his debut would have come much earlier - had he not had his shirt stolen from the dug-out at half-time! He eventually made his debut against Bolton in April and went on to play in the final seven games of the season, winning City's Player of the Month award in the process. Barton also notched his first ever goal against Tottenham Hotspur. The Liverpool-born player's reputation continued to grow throughout the campaign and he looks certain to play a big part. He's already a favourite on the terraces due to his tigerish attitude to the game. Keegan is determined to keep his feet on the ground, but on his first few performances it will be hard to hold him back. He has already been rewarded with a new contract.
|From the terraces|
New season, new stadium, European football and starting in the same division we finished in the season prior - when did that last happen!
The players will run out to 48,000 in the City Of Manchester Stadium where we have to make home advantage count on more occasions than last season, to lift us into a top six finish and automatic qualification to Europe.
KK has made some exciting albeit very experienced signings, David Seaman, great replacement for Schmeichel, Trevor Sinclair, whom I expect will form a solid partnership with Michael Tarnat, down the left, and Paul Bosvelt should stamp his authority in the middle.
This year will also be make or break for our most exciting young prospect, Joey Barton. Provided he can continue where he left off it will not be long before we see the scouse Steven Gerrard look-alike in the England Under-21s or even pushing for full honours.
By Eric Fitton, Soccernet FC Correspondent.
City's first season in the new stadium will be a landmark season. The club has a whole new outlook, especially with European competitions now a reality in the City of Manchester Stadium.
Keegan has brought in Michael Tarnat and David Seaman, but has also lost Ali Bernarbia and possibly Eyal Berkovic, two players who were responsible for a lot of our recent success.
Lee Croft looks like one to keep an eye out for, and should be breaking into the first team very soon. Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard should also be making a few appearances - when David Seaman's stuck in the barbers.
We should now be starting to get to grips with the Premiership, and if we finish in the top ten again, it'll be a testament to the hard work done by KK, proving that we are an 'established' Premiership team. Six points, instead of last season's four off Manchester United would also be an added bonus!
By The Lads from Mancity.net.
Life is certainly never dull when you are a City fan. This season, we have a new stadium which is as good as any in the country, and European football on the agenda, whilst Kevin Keegan will be expecting a top-six finish in the Premiership at the very least.
The boss has been busy in the transfer market this summer, and is particularly pleased with the capture of Bosvelt, yet the long-overdue signing of Sinclair is the one greeted with most pleasure by the fans.
More disappointingly is the departure of Ali Benarbia and the likely exit of Eyal Berkovic. Much will be expected of Bosvelt and Sibierksi to fill the void of creative midfielders, whilst there will be more than a few eyes fixed on Joey Barton. Prediction - somewhere between seventh and tenth place!
By John Williams, from Fans FC.
|Best - European place||Worst - Mid-table|
City will probably be happy to cement their place in the top half of the Premiership this season, with a number of key players leaving the club. But if Robbie Fowler and Nicolas Anelka can finally hit it off together up front then there is a chance of qualifying for the UEFA Cup via the more conventional route. Much will rest on the shoulders of Trevor Sinclair to provide some much needed quality out on the flank, especially now that Ali Bernabia has departed and Eyal Berkovic is desperate to find an escape route. A season of consolidation looks far more likely at the City of Manchester Stadium, but Keegan's style of play will no doubt serve up some highly entertaining matches.