West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray believes the revolution at Sunday’s opponents Manchester City is about to begin.
The Baggies take on City, now owned by an Arabic billionaire, at The Hawthorns on Sunday and although Albion have not won a game since the start of October, Mowbray believes his side are facing City just in the nick of time.
Just before the last transfer window closed, Abu Dhabi-based Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited completed a £200 million takeover at City, and immediately tried to splash the cash on some of the game’s biggest names.
They tried to gazump Manchester United’s protracted bid to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur for a British transfer record fee in excess of £30 million, and were also rumoured to have offered Real Madrid a blank cheque for striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy as well as an audacious £50 million bid for Liverpool’s Fernando Torres.
They did succeed in snapping up Chelsea target Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million just minutes before the window closed and Mark Hughes is likely to have a hefty transfer kitty when the window reopens again on January 1.
In the meantime, City have been the epitome of inconsistent, and their mixed results have raised doubts over Hughes’ future. City are fourth from bottom in the Premier League, just six points above rock-bottom Albion, and have won just once on their travels. City could also be weary after last night’s trip to face Racing Santander and will be without striker Benjani, who has a hamstring injury.
“A lot has been said about them because of the takeover at their club,” Mowbray said.
“If you believe the speculation, there is hundreds of millions to spend in January or next season. We’ll wait and see.
“City are having to deal with their expectation without having spent much of that money yet.
“Okay they have spent £30 million on Robinho and £17 million on Jo, and have bought Shaun Wright-Phillips as well, so they have some big players in there of course, but I think the revolution at Manchester City is waiting to happen.
“We have to try and capitalise before the big money starts to get spent. Possibly it is a good time to play them. They have been on an uncomfortable run and yet they have some very good players. They have some real threats about their team.”
Despite the run of 10 games without a win, Albion have not gained their rewards for some promising home performances. They were pegged back against Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth having dominated proceedings and Mowbray is hopeful they can finally end their poor run.
“Generally our performances have been decent at home,” he said.
“The frustration for me are the games like Blackburn and Portsmouth when we probably did enough to get the three points. That is the way it is going at the moment.
“At home we have been very competitive this season and we have to make sure Sunday is one of those days when we are very competitive and lets hope we can start to turn things our way.
“You have to start a run with a victory somewhere and let’s hope Sunday is the start.
“I think the saying goes ‘A thousand mile journey starts with one step’ and let’s hope Man City is the first step on a run of games like we had earlier in the season when we won three out of four fixtures. Then we can start to give the supporters some hope and belief back.
“We have to start somewhere and Sunday is the next opportunity for us.”