Review of 2011: June
- 03 January 2012 16:07
- Posted by Alex Rowen
Following a simply brilliant May, June was clearly the time to take stock and recuperate.
Yet despite a lack of action on the pitch – Take That taking that over for a series of musical spectaculars - there was certainly enough to talk about off it.
A new era of youth football was heralded as City announced their inclusion in the inaugural NextGen Series. Dubbed a ‘mini-Champions League,’ the competition would offer City’s youngsters the opportunity to test themselves against some of Europe's most promising talent.
The arrival of highly-rated teenagers Denis Suarez from Celta Vigo and Karim Rekik from Feyenoord showed how seriously City were taking the development of the club’s future crop.
June, however, saw the future of captain Carlos Tevez again called into question as reports surfaced that the striker was seeking a move home to South America.
With that possibility came the inevitable links with big-money moves for some of the world’s greatest players. Cristiano Ronaldo, David Villa and Alexis Sanchez were all said to be making their way to Manchester, though none arrived at the Etihad gates!
One name to leave City was Steve Eyre. After 21 years' loyal service, Eyre, who had been so instrumental in the club’s Academy success over the last two decades, was offered the chance to move into management with League One Rochdale.
As he departed, the club welcomed John Williams as part of the Football Operations team. Formerly chairman of Blackburn Rovers, Williams’ appointment underlined City's intention to improve all aspects of the club ahead of the most important season for 40 years.
Sadly, just weeks after the current crop of players had secured their place in the City archives, club legend Mike Doyle passed away, aged 64.
The battling former captain, who always insisted there were “only two teams in Manchester - City and City reserves”, succumbed to liver failure but would have been proud of the squad charged with continuing his club’s great traditions.