MANCHESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
OLD NAMES: ST. MARK’S (WEST GORTON) – 1880, ARDWICK ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL CLUB – 1887
OWNERS: CITY FOOTBALL GROUP
CHAIRPERSON: KHALDOON AL MUBARAK
NICKNAME: CITY, THE CITIZENS
STADIUM: CITY OF MANCHESTER STADIUM (ETIHAD STADIUM)
RIVALS: MANCHESTER UNITED, LIVERPOOL
Manchester City is colloquially known as the “Noisy Neighbours” for always trying to be better than Manchester United and jumping on every opportunity to let their city rivals know that they are stronger now and have achieved much more.
However, United is the team with the richest history in all of England. City’s success has been recent and after the infusion of heaps of money by their chairman – Khaldoon Al Mubarak, CEO and MD of City Football Group.
City, as they are popularly known has been one of the best teams in English competitions over the last decade. The club has won 6 First Division League titles (including 4 Premier League titles), 6 FA Cups, 7 League Cups but have never made it to the UEFA Champions League final.
History of Manchester City FC
Manchester City Early Years (Lots of Promotion and Relegation)
Manchester City was founded in 1880, 2 years after archrivals – Manchester United. City was founded as St. Mark’s (West Gorton) but underwent a name change in 1887 to Ardwick Association Football Club before becoming Manchester City in 1894.
Man City joined the Football League in 1892 and gained its first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899 thereby getting promoted to the top division of English football.
Thereafter, City won its first major trophy in 1904 when they beat Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup final. The Sky Blues narrowly missed doing the English double by finishing 2nd in the league the same season.
Surprisingly enough, City was the first team in Manchester to win a major trophy!
City played at Hyde Road till 1920 after which the main stand of the stadium caught fire, and in 1923 the club moved to Maine Road Stadium in Manchester, which was their home till 2003.
Manchester City was relegated to the 2nd Division in 1926 but came right back up in 1928 as 2nd Division Champions.
City won their second FA Cup trophy in 1934 beating Portsmouth 2-1 in the final. During the 1934 season, Man City held the highest record for home attendance with 84,569 fans flocking to Maine Road for their game against Stoke City – a record that stood till 2016! The 1930s became even better for City as they won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, but the very next season after becoming champions of England, the club was relegated back to the 2nd Division.
Manchester City won the Second Division title again in 1947 to get promoted back up once again. The club then went on to win their third FA Cup in 1956 after beating Birmingham City 3-1 in the final.
Man City started to struggle at the start of the 60s and was eventually relegated to the 2nd Division in 1963. The future looked bleak for the Citizens as they recorded an all-time low home attendance of just 8,015 fans in January 1965 when they faced Swindon Town.
Manchester City’s Golden Times
1965 saw the appointment of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison and many say that these were the golden years for Manchester City FC. City won the Second Division for the 6th time in Mercer’s first season in charge.
They acquired 2 top players in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell, and two seasons later, City won the First Division title for the 2nd time in its history but what made it sweeter was the fact that they beat Manchester United to the title. City then went on to win the FA Cup in 1969, before winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup the following year.
Man City also won the League Cup in 1970 to become only the second English team at the time to win a European trophy and domestic trophy in the same season. City was a challenging team throughout the 1970s as well.
The final trophy of the club’s most successful period before the 2010s was the League Cup in 1976 as City beat Newcastle United 2-1.
City in a Mess
After all the success that Man City had in the late ’60s and ’70s, the club started to struggle from the start of the ’80s as they got relegated to the 2nd Division once again in 1983. They managed to return to the top flight but were relegated again in 1987.
They got promoted back to the First Division in 1989 and managed to stabilize themselves as a top-flight club for a few years, but the struggle began once again as they were relegated from England’s top flight in 1996. Things got worse for City in the 1998-99 season as they found themselves in the third tier of English Football!
City managed to make a remarkable comeback achieving back-to-back promotions and found themselves in the Premier League for the 2000-01 season, however, their stay in the top flight was cut short as they got relegated back to the 2nd Division once again right away.
City of Change
Kevin Keegan was appointed manager of Manchester City before the 2001-02 season and he guided them back to the Premier League on their first attempt winning the 1st Division title in the process. On their first season back to the Premier League, Keegan led City to an impressive 9th place finish and even managed to qualify for Europe based on the UEFA Fair Play ranking.
City departed with the Maine Road Stadium at the end of the 2002 season and moved to the Etihad Stadium. The team stabilized themselves as a top-flight club for the next few years but never were a title contender or even a solid European spot contender.
Etihad Takeover and Change in Fortunes
In August 2008, the club was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group which saw the club become one the strongest in terms of the money, but they still remained a mid-table club until the arrival of Roberto Mancini in December 2009. Under Mancini, City finished 5th and qualified for the Europa League, narrowly missing out on the UEFA Champions League.
Success would continue to come for City following massive investment in bolstering the squad. They won the FA Cup in the 2010-2011 season and finished 3rd in the Premier League. In 2011-12, City won their first Premier League title to become Champions of England after edging out arch-rivals Manchester United with practically the last kick of the ball as Sergio Aguero grabbed the winner against QPR to complete an unprecedented comeback victory from 2-1 down to win the title on goal difference, ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
It did not seem like the 3rd season charm worked for Roberto Mancini, however. Manchester United made sure to win the Premier League back and that too, handsomely. City’s European woes continued as they were knocked out of the group stage for a second consecutive time. The FA Cup ended in disappointment for the Citizens as well as they lost to Wigan Athletic who at the time, had just been relegated to the Championship, in the FA Cup final.
Manuel Pellegrini was appointed in the summer of 2013 to replace Roberto Mancini and in his first season with the club, he went on to win the Premier League title edging out Liverpool on the last day, and also won the League Cup, making it a successful first campaign in charge of the Sky Blues. City struggled in the following 2 seasons and that brought an end to Pellegrini’s run as manager. He did, however, manage to lead City to another League Cup win before being sacked.
Pep Guardiola’s Tiki Taka and Ridiculous Spending on Defence
Pep Guardiola took over the job in Manchester blue after Manuel Pellegrini was sacked. Under the Spaniard, City won the 2017-18 Premier League campaign with the highest points total in the history of the competition. They also won the League Cup as Sergio Aguero went on to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Pep led City to back-to-back Premier League titles by helping City retain the trophy in 2018-19 with a stiff challenge from Merseyside’s Liverpool. They also retained the League Cup by beating Chelsea in the final. This was the first time in the club’s history that they managed to complete any title defence. City also won the FA Cup the same year to win the domestic treble but success in the UEFA Champions League still eludes them.
City finished 2nd in the 2019-20 season as Liverpool went on to win their first league title of the modern era. They did, however, make it 3 consecutive League Cup titles by beating Aston Villa 2-1 in the final.
Man City’s defence was always their problem under Pep Guardiola so he went and bought a number of players to strengthen that part of the pitch. Guardiola spent over $575 million on buying a defence for Manchester City!
He bought Pedro Porro who does not feature at all for the club as he is out on loan. Philippe Sandler was loaned out to Anderlecht and needed knee surgery so that was a bust trade too.
Ruben Dias has been City’s best acquisition. Alongside John Stones, City’s centre-back pairing has looked solid and tough to breakdown.
Nathan Ake started the season for City but has not played regularly since Stones and Dias have become Pep’s first-choice pairing.
Joao Cancelo was another expensive acquisition for Manchester City. The right-back plays a free-floating role to shield the defence. He is a top player and has been playing a lot more games for Pep Guardiola’s side.
City signed a top full-back in Benjamin Mendy but injuries have been his curse. Mendy, when fit, is definitely one of the best full-backs in world football.
John Stones was signed for a huge transfer fee by Manchester City and the club is now reaping the rewards by staying patient with the Englishman. He is one of the best central defenders in European football currently and has forged a great partnership alongside Ruben Dias.
City also has Aymeric Laporte – World Cup winner with France but injuries have plagued the French defender. They look even stronger when Laporte is playing. He is very assured at the back and leads the defence. Pep Guardiola called him the best central defender in the world and not many can argue that he is definitely up there among the top defenders in football, currently.
Oleksander Zinchenko was a steal of a buy for Man City and Pep Guardiola has taken a liking to him. Zinchenko plays on and off and is more than a handy squad rotation player.
Kyle Walker’s strength and versatility really stand out. That is the reason Pep Guardiola and Man City acquired the former Tottenham star’s services. Walker is good defensively and has incredible pace.
MOST APPEARANCES: Alan Oakes (676)
TOP GOALSCORER: Sergio Aguero (256)
FIRST DIVISION LEAGUE & PREMIER LEAGUE TITLES: 6
FA CUP TITLES: 6
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TITLES: 0
LEAGUE CUP TITLES: 7
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE TITLES: 0
FIFA CLUB WORLD CUPS: 0
CHARITY/COMMUNITY SHIELDS: 6
HOW TO BET ON MANCHESTER CITY
Under 2.5 goals
Manchester City is a high scoring side so you can bet on them scoring more than 2 goals but what you can be certain about is that they will not concede a goal very easily. They are a very strong defensive team so betting on under 2.5 goals may be a good option as there may be decent odds for this, especially if City’s opponents are in the bottom half of the Premier League.
Clean Sheet for City
Teams are finding it nearly impossible to break City’s defence. Their system with Rodrigo and Fernandinho as deep-lying midfielders has given Pep Guardiola’s side a wall that teams are struggling to penetrate.
When Kun Aguero starts for Manchester City, it is worth putting money on the Argentinian striker to bag the first goal of the game. City’s all-time top scorer is consistently in the race for the Premier League golden boot when fit.
In case Aguero is out then Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez are good bets to be first goalscorers in the match. More often than not, expect City to open the scoring in games.
City to finish in the top-2 of the Premier League
The odds of this might not be great but it is a seemingly good way to hedge other bets with this one. City and Liverpool have been head and shoulders above the rest over the past 3 seasons so can be pretty safe to assume that they would be challenging once again for the Premier League title.