Manchester City are going for it.
They aren’t happy with coming second in the Premier League, as they did last season, giving up their crown to bitter rivals Manchester United.
And as Will Ferrell’s fictional character Ricky Bobby famously said in the film Talladega Nights, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
It seems as if Manchester City’s directors and new manager Manuel Pellegrini are steadfastly upholding Ricky Bobby’s mantra.
This morning bullish striker Alvaro Negredo joined from Sevilla for $30 million. This afternoon Montenegrin attacker Stevan Jovetic signed from Fiorentina.
Like I said, City aren’t going to leave anything to chance this season.
This summer they’ve already spent $70 million on Brazilian holding midfielder Fernandinho and Spanish winger Jesus Navas. Today they spent $63 million. They’re going for it.
But will the additions of Negredo, Fernandinho, Navas and Jovetic further clog up City’s mammoth squad?
Nope. Those four will be regulars.
The additions of Negredo and Jovetic were essential and City have waited to make sure they could grab the right men. Pellegrini previously spoke about playing attractive soccer and how they need to attack and score goals. Previously I’ve spoken about City’s poor showing in front goal last season, they scored just 66, the joint-sixth best in the Premier League.
Last week Pellegrini outlined the new attacking, win at all costs, philosophy that will be prevalent at the Eithad this year.
“One of the reasons I am here is for the way we play. Man City fans will see a different way of playing than they have seen in other years. I’m sure we will play an attractive team. We will try to be an attractive team.”
Make of that what you will.
But adding Negredo is a huge coup. He’s a powerhouse forward who can score all types of goals and work the channels superbly. Jovetic is a manager’s dream. He pops up in space, right on cue to score or set up others and he’s extremely flexible, so Pellegrini can use him anywhere in City’s attack.
That’s something City didn’t have last season. A plan B. If Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero or Mario Balotelli didn’t deliver the goods, then they were out of ideas.
With Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Negredo and Jovetic spearheading their Premier League title charge this season Pellegrini, known as “The Engineer”, has the perfect mixture of power, pace and creativity to help calibrate the beautiful soccer machine he wants to create.
Can this mixture of recently assembled players from the far-flung corners of Europe do the business? Only time will tell. But it seems as though City’s fans are going to have a lot of fun, and see a lot of goals, one way or another.
Change is in the air at the Etihad. And I believe these signings could be the start of something special.
Remember, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”