For the first time in their history Manchester City fans were able to witness a Champions League draw which had a significant impact on them. The unnecessarily lengthy ceremony brought about a baptism of fire for Manchester City as they face tough opposition in Group A. Competing against the likes of Bayern Munich and Napoli is something which the fans have dreamed of for years, but no doubt the City faithful would have preferred an easier start. Whilst there is the argument that City would want to test themselves in the best football competition in Europe, there is always that hint of optimism that they will avoid the toughest teams and have the easiest possible journey in the competition. On the one hand the Blues have failed to draw the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, teams which, whilst providing mouth-watering competition, would possibly have jeopardised City’s presence in the tournament. On the other, their start is not as straightforward as that of their neighbours Manchester United whose only real cause for concern is finding Otelul Galati on a map and having any information on the largely unknown Romanians. Whilst Benfica may test a second-string United side, the draw has been favourable to the reigning Premier League champions and their progression to the second round is almost inevitable. With the Blues facing Napoli, Bayern Munich and Villareal in Group A many have suggested that whilst the draw could have been kinder, City do have enough in their squad to qualify for the second round.
The domestic fixture list has not been particularly kind to Manchester City this season in terms of Premier League fixtures after the Champions League games. The Blues are away from home after each Champions League contest, fortunately for City their group consists of trips to Germany, Spain and Italy meaning travel is not a major issue. Given the strength of Mancini’s squad it is hard to see how the City manager could fail to put together a team capable of getting results every three days.
Considering the amount of money Roberto Mancini has spent on players this transfer window and the quality he has brought into the club, City’s Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood believes that Mancini’s men have enough about them to win all four competitions this season. It’s a lot of pressure to place on the shoulders of Roberto Mancini but if anyone can deliver that, he can.
Exciting times await Manchester City football club and its loyal fans and given the numerous times that phrase has been written it just goes to show that the club are continuing to progress. For most City fans it may not sink in until that first game against Napoli at the Etihad Stadium. Once the iconic music is blared out over the PA system announcing the arrival of the players to the pitch then, maybe then, the fans will start to realise. Manchester City are in the Champions League.