Champions League spot completes first phase of Manchester City master plan

Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Tottenham achieved phase one of a mission intent on domestic and European glory. The Citizens have been in their neighbour’s shadow for a lifetime, but now there may be no stopping the Sky Blue machine.

City’s opponents on Tuesday night were the very side they needed to eclipse in order to secure their Champions League goal and, despite not showing any superiority on the night, City’s lavish spending in the last two transfer windows has catapulted them marginally ahead of the north London club. The past few seasons show steady progress for City. Their ambition, while clear from the very beginning of Sheikh Mansour’s reign, was held back by the fact they couldn’t offer Champions League football. Now that they can the mega-money transfer deals by City will only get bigger and better.

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Harry Redknapp pointed that out this very week, stating that once Champions League qualification is achieved, the transfers will “blow your brains out”. Perhaps not the most eloquent way of saying that City now has the platform to tempt some of the world’s superstars to Eastlands – more than just money is on offer. City has shown genuine ambition and it looks like only a matter of time before they can tick off not only Champions League qualification but also, perhaps, a victorious campaign.

Money alone cannot buy success – Real Madrid’s Galacticos proved that to a degree – but it can certainly put you in a position to win the game’s top prizes. The rest is obviously down to good management. It remains to be seen what happens at City over the summer but it would be a surprise if we weren’t surprised by one or two of their transfer deals come August 31. There are rumours that Carlos Tevez could be on his way out of Eastlands before the summer is over although that does not represent the kind of blow it might to most clubs. Losing such a talisman would be a critical setback to most managers but Mancini will have the luxury of luring a player of similar talent to Eastlands in one swift motion.

It is all hugely daunting for the rest of the Premier League. Spurs certainly knows that, after missing out on fourth this year and facing even slimmer prospects next season. Indeed, since Tottenham beat City 1-0 this time last year to secure their Champions League adventure, the Citizens have spent more than £150m in order to topple the north Londoners for fourth. City will not be content with fourth, however, and it’s likely the club will spend a similar amount this summer in order to move further ahead of Redknapp’s men and closer to their Manchester neighbours. The calibre of their signings will only go up and the progression seems unlikely to end until they reach the top.

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