In the player sweepstakes race, City just finished the season very strongly.
Of the slew of City’s recent signings, there is no one potentially as gifted as Vedran Corluka, the Dinamo Zagreb center back, who pundits feel is slated for greatness. Slaven Bilic, Croatia’s manager believes he is their best defender in a team full of big names, like Robert Kovacs, Dario Simic, and Igor Tudor. Corluka’s presence should mitigate the disappointment of Juve’s Giorgio Chiellini who looks like he is not joining up. He was recently seen tangling with Peter Crouch in Croatia’s win over England as another ex-Dinamo Zagreb star and Arsenal striker, Eduardo da Silva put them ahead.
An observation: I think Sven has seen the numbers from last year’s premiership and he believes that this City defense can get even stingier. It feels like an England redux again. City’s question marks are their attack resting on some very young strikers and some not so impressive graybeards.
Sven is also looking for this defense to be active in attack through set pieces and down the wings. Defenders like Corluka with their 6’3″ height and quickness fit into this plan as does Chiellini. In short City’s hopes rest on their defense. Narrow wins, lots of draws, and a vise like grip on the defensive aspects of the games with set pieces accounting for the goals.
Maybe the biggest change in theme is, “City’s hopes” rather than “hapless City.”
On a side note Dinamo has made a pretty packet with two of their stars heading to the Premiership this season. Corluka and Da Silva’s transfers have enriched them by 20m pounds.