That is if Manchester City are anything to go by. There is nothing like a 6-0 victory to spark belief that the title will follow (it won´t, of course, but the belief is still there!). But when you look at the team, the only impact the new Arab owners have had is the purchase of Robinho. Granted, he has had two good games, but one player does not make a team.
Jo – another big money Brazilian signing, but a legacy of the Thaksin reign – has been in outstanding form. Shaun Wright Phillips is looking like he has never been away from Eastlands. Aside from those three, this is largely Sven Goran Eriksson´s Manchester City side. And yet they are playing with the swagger of a Real Madrid or an AC Milan.
It is amazing what the prospect of being a truly big club can do. The personnel are largely the same, the manager is from Wales and is hardly a glamorous coach. It is the money that has made the difference to Manchester City, and they have barely begun spending it yet. The confidence that stems from knowing that there are huge amounts of money in the bank is giving the team a huge lift. Take Stephen Ireland as an example. He has always been a decent prospect and shown moments of brilliance, but with the confidence boost from the takeover he now looks like a world-beater.
The promise of the money is bringing the best out of City at the moment, but it could also prove to undermine their efforts this season. If the club continues its form from the rout against Portsmouth yesterday then there will be little point in making wholesale changes in January. The new owners are likely to want to make a few more prestige signings though – a couple more prize assets for the portfolio. Carlos Tevez and Karim Benzema are the latest players to be added to the list of rumoured targets. Quite how Mark Hughes would fit those two, Jo and Robinho in the same attack remains to be seen.
In other words, City were supposed to be a work in progress. Having found form so early, it will be difficult to maintain momentum and equilibrium at Eastlands.