1. So, welcome Leonid Slutsky, and brace yourself for a glut of headlines from our classy tabloid media which you will barely understand but will make City fans the world over cringe uncontrollably. We hope you settle in our neighbourhood quickly and have an enjoyable and fruitful time as our manager.
2. Look at us, appointing English football’s first ever Russian manager. John Bradley, the former Viking FM sports editor who now commentates on Russian football, told us on Twitter: “He’s a good man. Has a fine record in Russia. Gets the best out of players. Improves players. Conducts himself well at all times. Negatives: could be accused of being a little tactically naive and a little stuck in his ways by playing the same way all the time.” So, mainly good notices from someone who has viewed his teams on a professional level on many an occasion. And Slutsky has spent the whole year learning English, too.
3. But yeah, our footballing nation’s first ever Russian gaffer, and he’s ours. As for City, the only manager not from the British Isles we’d ever appointed before 2017 began was Jan Mølby, who’d been in the English game as player and manager for nearly 20 years and had a more pronounced Scouse accent than large swathes of Birkenhead. Now we’ve had a brooding, telegenic, highly-rated Portuguese quickly followed by a Russian chap who was managing his country as recently as last year’s European Championships. Oh, how Paul Merson must disapprove.
4. We hope our new leader has made it abundantly clear to Ehab Allam that huge numbers of players need to be recruited to make us a viable competitor in the Championship come August. The money that needs to be spent is kind of incidental, really; we need bodies. Whether they are gifted freebies, unknowns from Russophile clubs, youthful loanees or big names, get them in, in quantities. The threadbare squad we had this time last year has now passed into footballing folklore and became a symbol of why ultimately, as per most predictions and previews, we were unable to maintain our Premier League place, and that deplorable situation will not be tolerated again.
5. And the defence is obviously the first port of call. Alex Bruce (who really would have been so useful this season, but obviously accident of birth rendered him persona non grata with the Allams – and imagine being reliant on your father for your career, eh Ehab?) has gone. Curtis Davies has also gone, joining Derby County in an improperly cheap £500,000 deal. Two defenders with a wealth of experience, out with barely a backwards glance.
6. And now, Harry Maguire. We may have struggled to keep hold of this exceptional young defender even if we’d stayed up, but it’s unarguable that there was no chance of his staying once our fate was sealed. Maguire is a fine top flight defender who will get finer and will be even more on the international radar now that he has joined Leicester City for £17m. We think he’ll do well there. We think he’ll play for England next season. And while we can point to all sorts of shameful stuff behind the scenes that ultimately leads to us accepting the first bid we receive for our best footballer, we can’t blame Maguire for going, and nor should we. He seems a decent sort and his popularity on an individual level last season, as a player with whom we could properly identify, means that many a City fan will follow his career for a many a year to come.
7. Is Eldin Jakupović going the same way? Reports say so, but City say no. Mind you, they denied Derby County had bid for Davies meagre hours before Davies signed for, er, Derby County. We’re jaundiced enough to know that when the Allams say it’s freezing outside we look for shades and flip flops, so if they say no-one wants our free spirit of a keeper, we should expect to see him brandishing a blue and white scarf anytime now.
8. Jakupović was terrific once he got the nod last season and he was an endearing character; however, if he goes we’d not suggest his departure is as worrying as others that have either already happened or seem imminent. We have two Scotland international goalkeepers on our books, and whatever misgivings there have been about Messrs Marshall and McGregor, they are experienced and have terrific reputations and either would be more than adequate as a first choice custodian next season if our Bosni-Swiss stopper does follow Maguire to Leicester. And if Gospodin Slutsky happens to know the parents of the next Rinat Dasayev, then all the better.
9. Andy Robertson seems certain to go, too. It does seem nothing official has happened as far as the impending exit of our nippy Scottish full back is concerned but it does only feel like a question of time. West Ham and Liverpool have previously been interested, and there will be others.
10. Marco Silva goes to Watford. A week later, Southampton dismiss their manager. We suspect he’s kicking himself a little bit.