The appointment of Pep Guardiola, an investment of more than 150 Million dollars and a winning streak of 10 games at the start of the season (6 in the league), playing some sizzling football including victory away against neighbours Manchester United, it seemed that Manchester City were set for a memorable season. But the initial hurray turned out to be an illusion as City’s season has since completely fallen off track and from being heavy favorites to win the title, they now face an uphill battle to ensure a champions league spot.
With a squad that is so talented and has one of the most successful managers in the world football at the helm, it is unbelievable seeing them getting thrashed by teams like Leicester and Everton. With multiple poor results and generally unconvincing performances in the last few months, it is evident that there are serious problems that the Citizens face.
Firstly, the buck stops with the manager himself, Pep Guardiola. He has overseen two highly successful teams in the past and the current struggle is alien to even anything near he has experienced in his career before this stint. There have been mistakes from his side and the accountability for the lackluster form Manchester City are in lies with the Barcelona legend.
It’s his obsession to complicate things that has caught him red-handed in the world’s toughest league. Having found a set up that was handsomely winning matches at the start, he kept tweaking the setup and players which resulted in them failing to find a stable balance and the players not knowing their exact roles with constant change and finding it tough to adapt to Pep’s style.
Further, their summer signings have clearly not worked out and also failed to address key areas. Anyone and everyone could identify that aging fullbacks who were no longer good enough to do the job were a huge problem in the team and it is just mindboggling how they did not buy even one fullback for either wing.
Also, their failed investment in the center back department, despite spending enormous money each window and still being overdependent on Vincent Kompany, who has massive fitness issues is massively embarrassing and indicates poor scouting and the lack of connect with that what the team needs.
The attacking areas that they strengthened the most, despite already having immensely talented and some world class players in the position haven’t been utilized anywhere near their full potential. Also, signing a player with the injury history of Ikey Gundogan was always questionable despite his undeniable talent and unfortunately, it has cost them dearly.
Another major factor has been the huge goalkeeping blunder that Pep Guardiola made. Making things worse for their shaky defense has been the fact that Claudio Bravo quite literally not being able to make a save. His time so far in English football has been shocking to say the least. In the process, Pep also let Joe Hart leave the club which has had a bigger impact than just the saves not being made. He had been at the club for a decade and had a commanding voice in the dressing room. In the prolonged absence of Club captain Vincent Kompany, the backline lacks leadership and Hart would have provided that.
Pep Guardiola is unarguably one of the finest football minds in the world. He has all the acumen in the world needed to turn this around for City. What’s important for him to do now, is to respect and adapt to the league and get rid of his obsession for doing everything by his style, find the right balance and stick with it and reduce the experimentation if he wants to achieve the success they aspire to achieve.