Inexplicable cup defeats at home to Newcastle and Middlesbrough have significantly decreased Manchester City’s hopes of silverware this season. There is however still the prospect of Champions League glory and sitting in second in the league is nothing to sack your manager about. Let’s have a quick recap of why City’s season has been up/down so far.
The back five
With an international number one (albeit an England’s one) City have got a solid keeper in Joe Hart. His passion alone is a refreshing drop of aqua vitae in an ocean full of self-obsessed, money- driven egos. But the 27-year-old has genuinely got everything you’d want in a keeper. Hart along with Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov and Clichy forms a formidable back line, weakened only by the addition of either Demichelis, Boyata or Mangala. This other centre-back position is often the root of City conceding an average of a goal a game this season.
The middle of the park is where the riches of the middle-east are most evident in the City squad. The technique and agility of Silva and Nasri perfectly complements the physicality and power of Fernadinho and Fernando. Milner is in there to make the Ferrari look more like a Fiat Punto with a good old bit of British square-jawed northern graft.
It is Toure however, that has proven to be arguably the most important player for City over the past couple of seasons. Since his departure to compete in the African Cup of Nations, they have struggled massively and have not won a game.
It seems that he is (and has been so far this season) instrumental in ensuring that the midfield contains the kind of penetrations anddirect goal driven thrust that gives a team a fighting chance of winning a title or two..
With 14 league goals this season, Aguero is unsurprisingly carrying the Sky Blues’ attack. When he is fit and on form, he adds that finishing power that has seen City see off the likes of Bayern Munich and Roma.
Although when the Argentine is injured, Dzeko and Jovetic have been relied on to bag the goals. They haven’t come close to replicating Aguero’s clinical form, which has prompted the signing of Wilfred Bony, and Jovetic being droppe from their Chmapions League squad.
Amidst the mind-games of Mourinho, the whinging of Wenger and the vanity of Van Gaal, Pellegrini falls into the category of a quiet manager. His reserved style of management is definitely what City need and his unspectacular methods seem to favour the players.
Before failing with Real Madrid, the Chilean did wonders at Villareal and Malaga and proved that he could do big things with smaller clubs. He now knows what it takes to win a Premier League and has had time to impact upon his squad. That has been significant in maintaining yet another City challenge for the title this season.
Gerrard will sooner turn blue than Mourinho’s Chelsea give up a five point lead at the top of the table. City themselves though are five points clear of third-place United, so second place seems pretty secure. Barcelona certainly isn’t a favourable draw in Europe though, and it is hard to see them getting past the Catalan-side. Their best chance will come if Toure and Aguero are firing, but trophies don’t look like they will be residing at the Etihad this season.
Are City more likely to win the Premier League or the Champions League?