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All Eyes On Manchester City In EPL Kick-Off

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Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

The domination of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal (better known as the big four), has been a poisoned chalice for the English Premier League. Their commercial and European success has helped lift the profile of the league worldwide, yet it has stifled competition domestically. But could it be coming to an end?

Everton and Aston Villa have come close in recent times to breaking up the big four, both with sensible purchases and talented squads.

But what these teams have lacked is the bottom dollar to sustain such challenges, retain their players and attract star names. 

Enter Manchester City, so often the underachievers and unpredictables of English football. 

Now under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, with an estimated fortune of over £33 billion, Manchester City is threatening to shatter the big four with the intention of matching their cross town rivals, Manchester United, and turning City into a worldwide phenomenon. 

City’s cashed up owners wasted no time in flashing their chequebook once they had acquired the club, signing Robinho just before transfer deadline closed. 

This off-season they have sparred no expense.

In come Gareth Barry, Carlos Tevez, Kolo Toure, Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor.

All are internationals and all are world class.

Expectations are high and you have to feel slightly concerned for coach Mark Hughes.  

How is he going to contain all these egos not to mention the expectations of the club, its fans and its owners? 

Up front City have the combined talents of Tevez, Adebayor, Cruz, Robinho, Craig Bellamy and Benjani. 

How Hughes shapes his forward line will be fascinating to see. 

Some of the aforementioned players may be forced into the midfield with Barry and the impressive Stephen Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Some will be forced to wait it out on the bench. 

With this talent all eager to cement their place within the team, there should be no problem for Manchester City finding the back of the net.

Defensively there remain question marks but Toure adds valuable experience to the back and there are no signs of Man City halting their big spending with a focus on defenders, as witnessed by the unsuccessful attempt to sign John Terry and the continued negotiation with Joleon Lescott.  

It may take time for the team to gel, but there is no denying Manchester City has the talent to give the big four a run for their money.

Can they break them up this season?

They have certainly been assisted by some key exits within the big four, not least the huge gulf left at cross town rivals United by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso from Liverpool and Adebayor from Arsenal. 

It remains to be seen however. 

Manchester City’s destiny is in their own hands and, if it doesn’t happen this season, they certainly have the spending power in coming seasons to shake up the English Premier League.

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