Analysing Manchester City’s Slump – What’s Going Wrong For Pep’s Superstars?
When this season commenced, Manchester City rose to the top at the very beginning and they established a stronghold on the top spot of the Premier League standings. They were on course to breaking Arsenal’s record of going unbeaten for an entire season and expectations were sky-high.
However, a defeat against Liverpool in the league subjected them to their first Premier League loss of the season and then an embarrassing home defeat to arch-rivals Manchester United worsened their troubles.
They will still clinch the Premier League this season and European glory also seemed possible. However, they were humbled at the hands of Liverpool once more as Jurgen Klopp’s men sent them packing from the prestigious UEFA Champions League. Furthermore, they also lost the chance to win the FA Cup after losing to Wigan Athletic.
Teams usually experience a decline on the back of a successful season but the ongoing campaign has not even come to an end and yet, City find themselves in a tough spot. So, what exactly went wrong for them?
Straight off the bat, the answer to that question seems to be complacency. If one takes a close look at their last three games, it seems like the club dominated the proceedings in the first-half but after the break, everything came crashing down.
During both legs against Liverpool and also the ill-fated derby against Manchester United, City seemed like the better team initially but complacency and over-confidence seem to have caused a major dent in their winning run.
Pep Guardiola’s questionable tactics and decisions have also led to a downfall of sorts. In the pivotal away clash against Liverpool, the manager made some unusual changes but the most surprising one was to use Raheem Sterling as the central striker against United.
To be fair, refereeing decisions have not exactly gone in City’s favour either. For example, Leroy Sane’s disallowed goal could have worked wonders for the club against Liverpool and a deliberate handball by Ashley Young seemed to go unnoticed against the Red Devils.
Nevertheless, that does not eclipse the fact that there are certain things that are simply not working for City. A few of their key players are also experiencing a decline in form. Kevin De Bruyne, most notably, has been rather invisible in the last few games despite a slew of remarkable displays in the first half of the season.
Thus, there seem to be multiple reasons behind City’s failures towards the end of the season. For all the money that Guardiola spent, the club looks set to win the Premier League but they will have to wait to taste European glory.