Manchester City signed off the 2014/15 Premier League season with a 2-0 win against surprise-package Southampton at the Etihad, which saw them finish the season on a six-game winning streak, a record in the top-five leagues bettered only by French champions Paris Saint-Germain (9). It could well keep manager Manuel Pellegrini safe form the sack, as the Chilean coach was on the brink weeks ago following a terrible run of results.
The Sky Blues finished second in the table, maintaining an impressive top-two finish for the fourth consecutive season. During their end-of-season winning run, they defeated West Ham United, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Southampton – scoring 18 goals, and conceding just four. It left them with a respectable 79 points for the campaign, as well as being the league’s top scorers by some distance (83).
All the talk in recent weeks has been on a mass overhaul needed at the Etihad stadium this summer, but their form shows that the players have the potential to be the best, as they were in 2011/12 & 2013/14. Perhaps the squad lacks some depth and as a result suffered from fatigue this season, or maybe it is all due to complacency. Pellegrini has always maintained his belief in his players, and wants to rally the squad to win back the league crown in 2015/16.
“I never have any doubt. We know that we must improve as a team. It is a club that wants to grow every year and improve every year. I don’t need a special meeting (with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak), but when you finish the season you must analyse what you did, see what were our mistakes and where we must improve. It was very important to finish the season in front of our fans by winning the game,” he said.
Manchester City may not be losing all players earlier reported as certainties to leave this summer, but the Sky Blues are sure to add to their side which should see them gain in strength, and in a better position to fight for the Premier League title. Between the end of December and the middle of April, Manchester City dropped points in nine of their 14 games, forcing them to relenquish the title. They finished the campaign eight points off champions Chelsea, however, they ended the season strongly to show the potential of the squad.
City’s form has been brilliant in recent weeks, and could save the manager’s job, so do they deserve some credit?