Should Manchester City clinch the Premier this season, and a win against QPR will lift the big prize, then a new age of City dominance is a realistic assumption.
We’ve heard similar predictions in the past. When Chelsea won the Premier in 2005, it was supposed to herald a new dawn. Chelsea won it again in 2006 and then picked up a cup double in 2007. But then Mourinho left and threw the club into confiusion – a move they have bitterly regretted since the day he walked out of Stamford Bridge. Today, Chelsea are in decline. So, too, are United – if you believe the press who have criticized the ability of Alex Ferguson’s side to hang onto a commanding lead at the front of the pack. Certainly last season’s eye-catcher, Hernandez – a player on which the future was built – has had a tough second season and if you want evidence of a fading force, take the recall of veteran midfielder Paul Scholes.
So, if United’s power is fading, who will challenge City? It won’t be Arsenal or Chelsea, that’s for sure, unless there is huge amounts of money made available to both clubs’ managers in 2012-13. Arsenal are over-reliant on Robin Van Persie and if the Dutchman leaves the Emirates in the summer, they will struggle to keep pace.
As for Newcastle and Tottenham, both will flirt with success, but neither will have the resources to compete for the title and there’s no need to look at Merseyside for answers.
City are a “team of all talents” that has been expensively assembled. If all the main protagonists are pale shadows of their former selves, then City’s backing – from almost recession-proof Abu Dhabi – looks set to give them a huge advantage. The stage is set for a new sky-blue era. But then Malcolm Allison said something similar back in 1968. “We will terrorise Europe,” he said, before Turkish club Fenerbache knocked them out of the European Cup at the first hurdle. City’s owners will be expecting a much longer Champions League run once the Premier has been secured…..