Review of 2011: July
- Wed 04 Jan 2012, 11:26AM
- Posted by Alex Rowen
Three new faces arrived at the club in July as manager Roberto Mancini set about preparing his side for the campaign ahead.
Arsenal’s Gael Clichy and promising Montenegrin Stefan Savic joined to bolster the club’s already impressive defensive ranks, but it was the signing of Sergio Aguero that really got the pulses of the City faithful racing.
A star in La Liga with Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid, the Argentine had been linked with both Real Madrid and Barcelona and his arrival in Manchester signalled City’s ambitions on both the domestic and European fronts.
With arrivals came inevitable departures. Jerome Boateng and Jo returned to their native countries, Felipe Caicedo moved to Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow and while Shay Given joined Aston Villa, Patrick Vieira was offered the role of Football Development Executive after retiring from the playing side of the game.
Another notable transfer was Michael Johnson’s loan move to Leicester City. Injury since 2008 had restricted the 23-year-old’s first team opportunities and his move to the King Power Stadium signalled that the promising Academy graduate was finally on the road to recovery.
Their involvement in the Copa America meant that Carlos Tevez, Pablo Zabaleta and new boy Aguero were away longer than the rest of their team-mates, but for everyone else, July meant a return to training.
The club’s pre-season preparation took them to America for the Herbalife Football Challenge and following wins against Club America and Vancouver Whitecaps, Mancini’s side made it three from three with victory over David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.
Mario Balotelli courted controversy again in that game after he missed an open goal with a cheeky back heel that caused uproar amongst the American crowd and led to his premature replacement. Joe Hart starred for the Blues as he performed penalty shoot-out heroics – tucking home the winner himself!
Off the field, Liam Gallagher was quite literally the face of City’s new kit launch as he appeared on the side of the Etihad Stadium singing ‘Blue Moon’ in the club’s new sound wave-inspired kit and exciting partnerships with both Etihad and EA Sports were announced as plans to develop the Etihad campus into a world class training complex were revealed.