Another weekend has passed and it’s the same old story at Manchester City. This time Everton were the lucky ones. A 4-0 thumping left the lads travelling back to Manchester very blue indeed.
Whether you blame the defence for shipping goals more frequently than passing the ball amongst each other, or the goalkeeper for being possibly the worst summer signing ever, something has to change.
It’s always easy to point the finger at the men at the back, but when you’ve signed two centre backs for a combined £78.5m, it seems quite appropriate that they share a large sum of the blame. Replacing Joe Hart with Claudio Bravo has also been a costly error, with the whole situation embarrassing as it is unsuccessful. In fact, only five teams have a lower haul than City’s tally of four clean sheets this season, and that list isn’t pretty reading for any unfortunate fan of the blues from Manchester.
The calamity from Chile has been letting in goals left, right and centre, with 14 of the last 22 shots on City’s net actually finding the back of it. Never mind the likes of Harry Kane or Zlatan Ibrahimovic bearing down on goal, clubs will genuinely believe that their centre backs have at least a fifty-fifty chance of scoring past the man himself. Sergio Aguero must have a field day at training. Just to make matters worse for Bravo, two of Everton’s goal scorers on Sunday were young enough to be his children.
And for Guardiola? Well, he has gone from Lionel Messi breaking records, to Robert Lewandowski scoring for fun, to Bacary Sagna being charged by the FA for comments made on his Instagram account. Poor Pep has won literally everything there is to win, and now sits fifth in the league with a team riddled with problems.
He went from calling the result against a poor West Ham side a ‘reason to believe’ to ‘title challenge is over’ after a drubbing at Goodison. A Premier League trophy was the Spaniard’s aim in his first season in English football, but current champions Leicester look just as likely as City to win anything this year. Forget the top spot, a top four position is now on the rocks, which would quite possibly be one of the biggest downfalls in the history of world football.
Things have obviously not been as straightforward as he would have liked. The Yaya Toure debacle must have unnerved him a little off the pitch, while it looks as though Vincent Kompany is happy to stay injured and avoid any embarrassment on the pitch. The handbags with Chelsea earlier in the season just piled on the misery, and the loss of two key players when they completely lost their cool placed a heftier weight on the already heavy shoulders of the manager.
Second placed Spurs visit the Etihad next, and the thought of Harry Kane looking up at Bravo after easing past Stones does not bear thinking about.