What the rest think

Last updated : 04 August 2005 By Marc Higginson
"I think City will finish in the top half of the table, probably around
eighth place. The momentum gained from last season's finish should see
you  hit the ground running and pick up some early points. However I don't
think  you've got the players to sustain the push for a European berth. It
will be interesting to see how you progress in the post Wright-Phillips era and
the  way Pearce responds when you hit a period of bad results."

Andrew Bagguley, Liverpool fan

"So it's the start of new season and hopes are high for better success.
But I  only see another year of mid table security, knocking on the door of
European action. The loss of Shaun Wright-Phillips is a major blow, a raw talent who brings goals all out of nothing. Yet some hope must rest with the new  strikers. The Cole and Vassell partnership could be what's needed for the City fans to finally be cheering.
A passionate man in charge, but whether Pearce can prove it as a
manager at the top and inspire the team to a top 6 finish, I'm not sure.
Consistency and a good start's certainly what's needed!"

Jo Smith, Manchester United fan

"I honestly think City's Premiership campaign depends on how/if they can
lure another quality striker to the club and work out a game plan (similar
to ours at Bolton) that can grind out results. We had a successful season
because we deployed Kevin Davies to great use and it frustrated the
hell out of other managers which caused us to get results against teams like
Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle (much to Souness' fury).
Although City do have Cole and Fowler at the club they need to bring in
a player who will get 15/20 goals a season like they had with Anelka, who
they havent replaced. They obviously have money to spend following
Wright-Phillips sale but they got to spend it wisely as I don't think they can go round splashing £4 or £5m on average players.
Pearce looked impressive last season and the fans taking to his
passionate approach can only be a good thing for club/supporter relations and most importantly the team.
City to finish 8th this season. Be a tremendous success if they got into Europe."

Robert Urbani, Bolton fan

"It doesn't really feel like any of my business to be commenting on City's prospects for the season. After all, my team - an impoverished bunch of white-wearing Yorkshiremen - will have to overcome the likes of Luton and Hull before we can start thinking about playing you again. That said, it isn't like Leeds fans to be reserved, so I'll have my two penneth.
The prospect of having Stuart Pearce as the manager of any side for a full season is a great thing. Just imagine him now, as the season approaches. He'll be going mental. If he manages the way he used to play, he'll be staying up all night, writing and re-writing his teamsheets, cutting no corners whatsoever in making City as strong as he can for next season. I mean, the guy always takes things so personally, and I reckon he'd hang himself before he'd watch City slump this season. He'll make your boys fight.
Which means that if Danny Mills and Robbie Fowler are still as half-hearted as they were when we last had em, they'll get dropped.
Obviously, the loss of Shawny Wright isn't helpful and your midfield doesn't look mightily inspiring at the moment. But they did a decent enough job last season and having Vassell and Cole to play behind will no doubt improve things.
I could see City finishing sixth if things go well. A few big home wins against Arsenal, Liverpool or that other red outfit who we hate just as you do, would see you really push on. That said, if Joey Barton doesn't keep his head screwed on and if Cole doesn't receive his required quota of gift-wrapped chances, things could get tricky.
But Pearce will guard against that. And I expect that by the time you're enjoying a visit from Ken Bates' mighty white army, you'll have the distraction of European football to contend with."

Steve Creek, Leeds Fan

"As usual Manchester City will be hopeful of at least a top eight position after their excellent winning run at the end of last season. Stuart Pearce is a firm favourite with the crowd and has a personality that should get the best out of his players. Despite the obvious loss of Shaun Wright-Phillips, they have enough talent to be mid-table at best and the team is starting to look as dedicated to the shirt as their fans demand. On most fronts the club is looking up, even the usual library like City of Manchester Stadium is beginning to produce the tribal atmosphere required to intimidate opposition fans. There will be no prizes at Eastlands this season, but no scares or major disapointments."
Chris Hammer, Bolton Wanderers fan