Review of 2011: August
- Thu 05 Jan 2012, 2:23PM
- Posted by Alex Rowen
This could become a habit. A third Wembley visit in four months ushered in August as the City faithful travelled south once more for the Community Shield.
Having entertained fans with the annual open training session, Roberto Mancini set his players’ minds to the task of tackling United in the showpiece curtain-raiser.
That defeat was soon set aside as the Champions League group stages were drawn. Faced with the possibility of Barcelona and AC Milan, Blues were initially relieved to be drawn instead with Bayern Munich and Villarreal.
But when Napoli, arguably the strongest of the fourth-seed sides, were drawn out, the dreaded 'group of death' lay in wait for City
The club’s commitment to young English talent saw Joe Hart and Micah Richards sign new long-term contracts, and they were just two of six Blues called up by Fabio Capello to face Holland in a pre-season friendly.
Fan favourites Shaun Wright-Phillips and Craig Bellamy both left on transfer deadline day as Samir Nasri, Owen Hargreaves and Costel Pantilimon joined the City ranks and a number of stars left on loan – most notably Emmanuel Adebayor, to Premier League rivals Tottenham.
Sergio Aguero celebrated a dream debut on opening night, coming off the bench to score two and make one in the 4-0 win over newly-promoted Swansea, and the Blues beat Bolton 3-2 at the Reebok ahead of a hotly-anticipated trip to White Hart Lane.
An emphatic 5-1 win over Tottenham closed the month in style. Etihad Player of the Month Dzeko scored four to secure the perfect opening to the new campaign and announce City’s arrival as credible title challengers.