I watched in disbelief yesterday as Manchester City were once again put to the sword, this time by Spurs. The Citizens have had a tough start to the campaign and they currently sit in 12th spot after 8 games played, they have a game in hand over the rest, but that would only see them up to 8th, and that is if they win it of course. I was catting to fellow fan Joe Cianciotto about this, who has seen his fair share of City issues having followed them since the days before the money came in. We were trying to get to the bottom of exactly what has gone wrong at the club which was setting Premier League records just 2 seasons ago. Here is what we think may be wrong at the moment with the side.
One big failure which Guardiola has made since he has been at the club has been his abject failure to invest in a great striker, which is unforgivable. Ultimately he knew that Aguero was one of the best in Europe, and that Jesus was a good option as back up. He also knew that Aguero was getting older and that Jesus was not reaching the potential which so many felt that he had. And so Pep didn’t buy a 3rd choice striker to keep the pressure on, Jesus and Aguero get injured and then City, one of the world’s richest clubs, don’t have a striker, madness.
City have never been sensational in defense, and they would usually cover that up with 70% or 80% possession and a raft of goals. This season however, they have been caught out time and time again by teams who are happy to say up the pressure and then hit them on the counter attack. We see Leeds dismantle them like this, then Leicester did the same thing and then yesterday we see Spurs do it again. If there is a simple formula to beat you then you have to switch things up, and sadly City very rarely have a plan B.
Something which many football professionals said about Spurs in the final year that Pochettino was there, is that there is only so many times you can train players to do the same thing and expect them to go out there and implement it. We know about the Guardiola ‘way’ but ultimately those players who have been doing the same thing over and over again, players like Sterling for example, they will eventually become bored of it and this is when the team begins to become ineffective.
Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva, these were three massive players for City, they were leaders and they had outstanding ability. None of these positions have been truly replaced and that is another reason why this team is not in the shape which many wish it to be.
Pep has just signed a 2 year contract, this year will be tough, that final year will have to be special otherwise he may stain his legacy.