Patrick Vieira doesn’t class this season as a success for Manchester City.
Having not won a trophy for 35 years, the Blues finally added to their honours list when they won the FA Cup against Stoke City in 2011. And last season they fared even better, when they pipped rivals United on goal difference to win their first league title since 1967-68.
This term, though, their defence of the Premier League crown has been disappointing – with six games left to play, they trail their neighbours by 13 points. And just as last season, they failed to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League after finishing bottom of their group.
On a brighter note, the 2-1 win over Chelsea last Sunday gives them the chance of a second FA Cup in three years, and they are overwhelming favourites to defeat Wigan Athletic at Wembley next month. But whilst another major trophy and a second-place finish in the league could be deemed a success, their football development executive Vieira is far from impressed.
“Has this season been a success? No,” the former France international told Radio Monte Carlo. “The aim this season was to retain the title and do better in the Champions League so, no, you cannot say our season was a success. We’re in the cup final so that is a good way of saving the season. But we had a team you would expect to do better. We could have done better.”
Despite Vieira’s comments, it is easy to forget how far City have come in recent years. Having gone so long without winning a trophy, they are now on the cusp of a third successive season of picking up silverware. And with Champions League football on the menu next season, Roberto Mancini will likely add more quality to his squad in the summer as he launches a bid to regain the title.