July 26th, 2010
04:27 PM ET

Money can't buy you love, or titles

Roberto Mancini will have his work cut out to win the Premier League title this season. (Getty Images)
Roberto Mancini will have his work cut out to win the Premier League title this season. (Getty Images)

London, England (CNN) - Players win games, teams win championships. Manchester City, who have spent over $100 million this summer already, evidently think if they get enough star players, they will win enough games to lift the English title at the end of the season.

The Premier League club, bankrolled by billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour, has made the biggest splash in the summer transfer market, bringing in Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Aleksandar Kolarov. They are also closing in on Mario Balotelli. However, as impressive as these signings are, will they gel into a unit that can fight for the Premier League title? I personally don’t think so.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a championship team isn’t either. Manager Roberto Mancini will have less than three weeks to make his new players assimilate his tactics and his playing style. In my view, this is not nearly enough time. And by the time he gets it right, it may be way too late.

Let’s have a look at what his starting XI could look like on opening day:

GK Shay Given

DF Aleksandar Kolarov

DF Kolo Toure

DF Joleon Lescott

DF Pablo Zabaleta

MF Yaya Toure

MF Gareth Barry

MF David Silva

FW Mario Balotelli

FW Carlos Tevez

FW Emmanuel Adebayor

There is a lot of quality in this side, no doubt about it. However, only two of these players (Given and Zabaleta) were at the club at the end of the 2008-2009 season and many haven’t even played a single minute for City. Basically, this is a group of individuals right now, rather than a team, and going back to the first line in this article, I don’t think they will be able to work together enough to come out on top when the season is done and dusted.

You may be thinking right now that Chelsea won the league in Jose Mourinho’s first season when he brought in nine new players, so City could also do it. Yes, they could, but Jose Mourinho is at least five times the manager Mancini is. He has more motivational skills and a stronger personality. He is infinitely better at convincing players that they need to do things his way, while Mancini is more passive and diplomatic.

I could easily see the atmosphere in the Manchester City dressing room getting tense if some of the star players don’t get enough playing time, and I could easily see Mancini not being able to diffuse the situation. The potential signing of Balotelli could be particularly problematic. He is a great talent but also carries a lot of emotional baggage. The Italy international has proven time and time again at Inter that his ego needs constant stroking, and he may struggle to fit in at Eastlands.

So expect the traditional contenders to battle for the title this season in England. I expect Manchester City to finish in the top four, but they won’t win the Premier League. At least not yet. Money can’t buy you love, and it can’t buy you championships either.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Albert Huang

    Rome wasn't built in a day but Chelsea was!

    July 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  2. Chris

    Spot on

    July 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  3. Frenger

    Yes, but they didn't win the Premiership for a couple of years after Abramovic bought them.... so many good players were bought and disposed of before they got it.... i'm thinking Veron, Mutu, Petit, Parker etc etc.... we will see how City get on this season i guess. Chelsea always had the core of Lampard and Terry and Cech and Drogba to gel and grow for those formative couple of years of Abramovic's reign. City need to keep Lescott, Barry and Tevez i think to do the same.

    July 26, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  4. Tony Bowling

    There is something very perverse about this system of buying a team into "success". It is not good for the game overall. What is good for the game is what the likes of Brian Clough did with Nots Forest - now that is success achieved in a very honorable way.

    July 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  5. Thompson Israel

    I believe d Portugese Born CNN Anchor is not bias wit d Ctuation revolving The Manchester City..Outfit..Pedro pinto is a man wit a positive Sence of Humor..& his publication on sport has been Groovy,,..Kudos to d entire CNN Crew,..Ride on wit Ur Awesome work...

    July 27, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply
  6. Thompson Israel

    I believe d Portugese Born CNN Anchor is not bias wit d Ctuation revolving The Manchester City..Outfit..Pedro pinto is a man wit a positive Sence of Humor..& his publication on sport has been Groovy,,..Kudos to d entire CNN Crew,..Ride on wit Ur Awesome work...We luv U..

    July 27, 2010 at 9:59 am | Reply
  7. arsenalhkgfan

    Excellent articles.

    Money can’t buy you love and can’t buy you championships too.

    Mania will be out of the EPL next season. Bye Bye Mania.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:07 am | Reply
  8. pinto

    this same pinto said Ghana would not be getting anywhere in the world cup...........

    what happened to his beloved Portugal ??? Rubbish

    July 27, 2010 at 11:33 am | Reply
  9. tobi peters [galaxy tv nigeria]

    man city,they are jokers ,,,,,its all gona b the same old stories,they can never win any cup dis season...its gona b worst.......

    July 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  10. JasonAmerican

    @Tony Bowling An American here talking football with fans of the EPL:

    There's something in America called Free Agency (not a derogatory comment – I just don't know if the EPL has the same thing). A player is at the end of his contract and then goes and entertains lucrative offers from other teams. Lately, it has evolved into that player choosing where he wants to go with the big influence being whether or not the players thinks the team can win championships with the other players they have. You may have heard of LeBron James most recently.

    And free agency has killed every sport here.

    In any case, it's just funny to hear you say that it's perverse about a team buying good players and automatically thinking they will win – funny to me anyway because it's been the way of American sports for too long. I do remember when teams went through cycles, players were home-grown, and groomed into the system, the veterans taught the young players and they spent about 6-10 years with one another with the occasional trade or add on.

    In the sport of baseball, with the one exception of the New York Yankees, buying players has actually never proven to be successful. Every team that has won usually has players that are not superstars all playing their roles to win games as team. I will be curious to see if ManCity can keep it together.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  11. Sol

    You guys criticizing Man City should keep quiet. If your team do not have money to buy players the way Man City is doing, you can as well go out there and look for a rich guy to buy your club and stop be jealous. You should rather wait and see how the season will turn out.
    Man City and other clubs that have more money go ahead and do what you like and let these jealous idiots go to hell.

    July 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  12. Bart

    Mr. Pinto, surely it helps if you have the money to buy the greatests of talents?
    I miss in your story the most important aspect in buying players, namely who selects them. Because if Mr. Mancini was involved while contracting these players, that would throw a different light on things, wouldn't it? Was he?

    @Sol: clubs in the "Eredivisie", out of Holland, where I come from, that perform well and show great football on a tight/tiny budget (i.e. Heracles last season, but that's another discussion!) get greater admiration from me than ManU does, or ManCity. Sorry!

    Kind regards.

    July 28, 2010 at 4:31 am | Reply
  13. pirate


    July 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  14. usa4ever9999

    soccer sucks

    July 30, 2010 at 4:34 am | Reply
  15. D Tijani

    City will struggle to finish in the top four this season. Mancini just isn't the man for the job.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  16. Nicholas

    Man City is climbing the ladder.
    Its an investment! I hope they win
    a trophy with what they had acquired!
    Yes it comes down to the dressing room!
    Mancini of Man City is one with a good
    record in club football. He had tested
    victories in championships and now has
    the players to do same for Man City.
    You can do with little money and great work
    But when you have great workers and great
    Good money you trade cautiously. In EPL
    Money matters! It can make this happen with time!
    Man City is becoming a favorite! This season? Yes!

    August 3, 2010 at 6:06 am | Reply
  17. mahroug marouane

    I do really agree with Mrs Ferguson since we cannot ignore that any title is brought always as a result of the spirit of group. And especially in football we have to prepare a homogenous group in order to win titles and that's for sure since this collaboratve group will endure a strong mission for a long period in order to make it. With my wishes of the best for all english teams.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  18. Precious Agbowo

    I think Man.City signing playes to lift the premier league doesn't make any sense. And if they are thinking that chelsea did it so they can. I think they should cnnsider the Experience of the manager and the attitude of the players! If the new signing should emerged can they quicklx understand the system of the club. Are the new player seif disciplined and commited. For me, i don't believe in huge signing. Take a look at Madrid last season trophyless.so big signings does go well,rather than team composement and seif disciplied.THANK U

    August 5, 2010 at 5:42 am | Reply
  19. Fredick Anquandah

    As the saying goes "Great minds work alike" let all wait paitiently and focus on what the great minds and legs of man city will do this season. All of you do not expect man city to be part of the top 4 without lifting the epl trophy, do you ?... Man city all the way.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  20. oluwaseun anthony

    too many resources could be a big problem for man city they should remember that man utd and arsenal are there so they should not expect to win anything and comparing mancini with the special one is far away to compare with his a world class coach before he came to chelsea he has a good record in porto so man city should be patient and time will tell when they will start to shine like man utd soon....

    August 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  21. nabeel

    Mancini is too good looking to win.

    August 9, 2010 at 11:00 am | Reply
  22. kasonde

    it does buy success, but with great planning .e need2 get a coach and the boad and owners should give the cocah space and power 2buy players. teams like , liverpool, chelsea, man u, arsenal, inter. milan, barcelona , real etc r all owned by rich people or a group rich people taht why they buy the best players and create the best from thier youth system.

    maNCITY, also need 2 start buying very young players 2 have good youth system

    August 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  23. Chloe Ann Roberts

    I love City and i think even though we might not reach the top this season, this season is to show that we are champions league proof!! WE LOVE yOU CIT|Y

    August 13, 2010 at 11:41 am | Reply
  24. Matt

    "Money is not the key to happiness, but with money you can buy lots of keys"

    Same applies here. Money is not the key to titles...but with money you can buy several players which they will play and win. 😀

    August 14, 2010 at 7:20 am | Reply

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