Pep Guardiola’s contract runs out at the end of this season. If things keep going as they are, will he want to stay? Will they want him to stay?
Manchester City didn’t lose at the weekend, so perhaps it is a little early for excessive despair.
But those two dropped points mean City have already dropped seven this season: they only relinquished 14 in 2017/18 and this is following a similar pattern to last term, when they were behind Liverpool virtually from the start and never really got close.
The draw with West Ham also extended their run of being unable to come from behind and win games: the last 104 times they have been behind at the break, they have only clawed back three points once.
“If you speak to any Man City supporter & they’ll tell you the one thing you shouldn’t be is surprised,” said Daniel Storey on The Totally Football Show this week.
“This is their new normal. This has been coming for 18 months: the defensive incompetence, the infuriating injuries they’re getting to key players, the profligacy in front of goal & their weird midfield conundrum where Rodri can’t really protect the defence by himself, Fernandinho’s legs aren’t really there anymore, Ilkay Gundogan sort of looks like a jobbing, mid-table central midfielder now.
“Phil Foden is suddenly, arguably, their most important player, because Bernardo Silva’s form has dropped off, Riyad Mahrez’s form has dropped off. It’s a difficult one to solve because it isn’t just one issue: it’s issues across the pitch.
“Guardiola’s contract ends at the end of the season: these are big months for modern day Manchester City. We all imagine City would still love to keep him, but if he thinks it’s not going that well, he might feel it’s time for another sabbatical.”
Matt Davies-Adams continued:
“Their recruitment over the last three or four years, for a club with unlimited resources, bears some scrutiny. They’ve had more misses than hits in terms of players they’ve signed.
“Steve Wilson on Match of the Day [against West Ham] called them a Manchester City tribute act: they’re not anything like they were two or three years ago.
“They’re predictable, which happens to managers a lot: it certainly happened to Mourinho. It must be quite easy to plan for a game against Manchester City, because you know what’s coming.”
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