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"What's not to like about Mancini? He stood up to Sir Alex, both physically and metaphorically" - A City fan offers his views on the club ahead of the 2012-13 Premier League

MANCHESTER CITY
FAN: Ric Turner
WEBSITE: Blue Moon

The target: Premier League title

The main target this season is to retain the Premier League. A prolonged run in the Champions League would be an additional bonus, but the league is the priority.

My thoughts on the gaffer...

What's not to like about Mancini? He stood up to Sir Alex Ferguson, both physically and metaphorically, and delivered our first league title for 44 years.

Hopefully the lazy stereotype about him being a typically negative Italian manager will have been banished by some of our performances last season. It was a relief when he signed a new five year contract this summer.
Our key man this season

Vincent Kompany is arguably our most important player, and we struggled when he was injured last season. He's one of the best centre halves in Europe, and is the leader of our team in every sense.

Articulate, authoritative and intelligent, he is the ideal captain. 
Youngster to watch

Abdul Razak, Dennis Suarez and Karim Rekik are the most exciting prospects coming through for the academy.

The quality of our squad now means their chances are likely to be restricted to the domestic cup competitions this season, but all three have great potential.


A player who must deliver

Adam Johnson again flattered to deceive for much of last season.

Rival supporters can't understand why he is only a peripheral figure, given his natural ability, but City fans who see him on a regular basis find him a source of frustration at times.

Our Achilles' heel

We lack depth in central defence. If Joleon Lescott or, god forbid, Vincent Kompany are out for any length of time we would be in trouble. Stefan Savic is raw and needs to go out on loan to build confidence, whilst Kolo Toure is not the same player he was at Arsenal.

We're looking to rectify this with a bid for Liverpool's Daniel Agger, but a deal looks increasingly unlikely.

Fixture I am looking forward to the most...

Manchester United, as always. Even when we were essentially rubbish this was, of course, the game we would always look forward to the most. Obviously now it has taken on an even greater significance, so it was nice to comprehensively outplay them twice last season. The 6-1 humiliation at Old Trafford will live long in the memory.

Our toughest opponents will be...

I think Manchester United will be our closest rivals once again. Chelsea have invested heavily and will surely improve on their domestic form of last season, while Spurs and Arsenal will compete for the remaining Champions League place, but ultimately the title will be won by one of the Manchester clubs.

Player we love to hate

Wayne Rooney. He's obviously a talented footballer, but he's an absolute tool. I like the fact that United fans, given their hatred of all things Liverpudlian, have the most scouse man in England as their idol, but I think the irony is lost on them.

Rival player from the Premier League you'd have in your team?

Gareth Bale. He'd provide the width and pace that we lack at times, and can play anywhere on the left hand side.

My first choice XI

HART



RICHARDS
KOMPANY
LESCOTT
CLICHY









BARRY              
          YAYA TOURE





SILVA
NASRI





TEVEZ
AGUERO




My verdict

It will be difficult to match the drama and excitement of last season, the like of which I suspect we may never see again. It's probably a good thing, as I'm not sure my nerves could handle it!

Hopefully this season will see a more efficient, professional defence of the title, but I'm not sure that's the City way.

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