What’s going wrong at Manchester City?
This time last season they had dropped just four points and were three points ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. This term they have let 13 slip and are 11 points back from their old rivals, and not even second, trailing Leicester by another three points.
So is there a major problem? Not according to our panel on the Totally Football Show, who think it’s a number of small factors combining to mean they’re just not quite as good as a year ago.
“It feels like a little bit of everything at the moment,” said Daniel Storey. “It feels like little things are going wrong. At the FA Cup final, at that point you wondered how anyone could challenge them this season. Liverpool have been brilliant, but City have been so far off the pace of last season.
“The Laporte injury compounding the lack of central defensive purchases in the summer has hurt them, but there are just a few players like Kyle Walker, Rodri, both Silvas and even Sergio Aguero before his injury that aren’t quite at the level of last season.”
Michael Cox thinks it’s the absence of a player who looked like he was going to leave the club in the summer, but is instead missing with injury, that is harming them.
“I think they’re missing Leroy Sane as well,” he said. “Not necessarily just his individual contributions but tactically as well – he would stretch the play down that left side. When he played with Sterling, there were just sometimes goals they scored where you thought: “how on earth do you stop that?”
“With Bernardo and Mahrez in the front line instead [they’re not quite the same]. Mahrez has done OK at times but he’s a different kind of player.”
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