Ayala signing shows we're ready
This is a great time to be a City fan. Both other promoted sides were walloped at the weekend, Swansea perhaps understandably but QPR arguably had the easiest first fixture and totally fluffed their lines.
Talk of the Tony Fernandes takeover, Warnock`s position and the ticket price debacle suggest more turbulent times ahead too.
We`ve been here before with other clubs experiencing false dawns and empty promises. I would rather have the continuity and stability that we have at Carrow Road, any day.
On the field, we more than held our own. It`s two years to the day since Paul Lambert took over, it`s an amazing and rare achievement, and one which Gary Lineker and friends sadly decided to not really pay suitable respect to.
Like most fans, I`ve waited over 6 years to see us on Match of the Day, and was hugely deflated by their coverage. Our prime time fame will come however.
A month or so back, the team hadn`t quite taken shape and even the most optimistic fan would have hoped for a couple more signings. The signings of Kyle Naughton and the very impressive Daniel Ayala shows firmly that we have a squad to stay in the Premier League, and show how well the club is being run at the moment. That`s £10m out and very little back in according to my calculations - only 8 Premier League clubs have spent more. We. Are. Massive.
Competition is the key to keep everyone playing at their peak. We ended last season with a central defensive pairing of Ward and Whitbread. That was pretty much it, with Barnett`s hamstring injury and the hapless Jens Berthel-Askou frozen out of the picture, there wasn`t any experienced cover, but it was enough to get us over the line.
This season with Ward out with a knee injury and Whitbread limping off against Wigan, we still have the impressive (if unfortunate) Ritchie de Laet, Barnett and now the huge potential of Ayala. That`s five players whose natural position is centre back.
Where we lacked cover, the manager as brought quality cover in... if only Arsene Wenger was so logical Arsenal would win the league. As promised, Lambert has added wisely to what we`ve already got to 'help us out` and we are more than ready for the season ahead.
Of course, a word of caution is needed. We will need to be resilient and get used to losing two or three on the bounce (perhaps heavily) but as long as we stay true to our principles, and supporters continue to back the entire team (no matter who plays for us) I think we have enough to finish above three other teams in this league...the man with the Midas touch now has the tools to assure us of that.
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