England 2006 World Cup first choice goalkeeper PAUL ROBINSON of Blackburn Rovers bravely collects the ball at the feet of Ivory Coast World Cup defender KOLO TOURE (28) of Manchester City in the 1-1 draw at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)
Aside from the Liverpool match, the results have been somewhat less than overwhelming — particularly in the goal-scoring department — for MANCHESTER CITY. For many, more was expected than four goals from the first four league games for manager ROBERTO MANCINI’s charges. In reality, three of the four goals came in the one contest versus the Reds :
0-0 — at Tottenham Hotspur
3-0 — Liverpool
0-1 — at Sunderland
1-1 — Blackburn Rovers
This sort of production then on the heels of a summer spending spree which saw the Eastlands club splash out roughly 140 million English pounds on six top-rated players :
27.000 mil EP — 4 ga – 0 go — mf – Yaya TOURE
26.550 mil EP — 0 ga – 0 go — fw – Mario BALOTELLI
25.875 mil EP — 3 ga – 0 go — mf – David SILVA
20.430 mil EP — 1 ga – 0 go — df – Aleksandar KOLAROV
19.800 mil EP — 3 ga – 0 go — mf – James MILNER
11.250 mil EP — 0 ga – 0 go — df – Jerome BOATENG
(Manchester City also gave up midfielder Stephen Ireland, valued at 8.73 million English pounds by transfermarkt.co.uk, as part of the transaction for Milner from Aston Villa)
Thus far, none of the six have delievered a goal in Premier League play; more than half do not even command a place in Manchester City’s first team at the moment. Injuries have contributed to the lack of success from the new signings.
Italian striker MARIO BALOTELLI was injured in the final moments of his Man City debut opposite Romanian side CS FC Timosoara in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League playoff round in late August; the 20-year-old acquisition from Inter Milan underwent knee surgery in early September and is expected to miss at least a month.
Fitting, perhaps, that Manchester City face Red Bull Salzburg of Austria, another club searching for a bang from its off-season buck, in the UEFA Europa League this week.