Manchester City are Premier League champions, but at the moment they are looking very vulnerable at the back.
In their first three games of the season they have conceded two goals and could easily have conceded more.
City drew 2-2 at Liverpool yesterday and had the home side taken their chances it could have been far worse for the champions.
City boss Roberto Mancini was unhappy with their defensive display and told Sky Sports: “This is the time to finish conceding two goals every game, but we have taken one point when we went down two times”.
Their defensive display cost them two points and the champions can’t keep conceding goals at this rate. If they do then they are going to find it difficult to win the Premier League title this season.
Last season the central defensive pairing of Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany were really solid. They forged a good barrier in front of the Joe Hart in the City goal. Mancini has been experimenting with playing three at the back and I don’t think the experiment is working at the moment.
When Liverpool attacked City looked like they could concede goals. They didn’t look as solid as they did for most of last season. Even the imperious Vincent Kompany didn’t look like his usual assured self.
If City are to restore solidity back into their defence they need to go back to a flat back four. Lescott and Kompany are more familiar with that system and I don’t believe they will concede as many goals.
Manchester City have been linked with numerous players in recent weeks. According to Sky Sports reports they are close to signing Swansea winger Scott Sinclair for £6.8million. The Citizens are also chasing Fiorentina’s outstanding attacker Steven Jovetic.
Inter and Brazil full-back Maicon and Maicon’s compatriot Chelsea centre-back David Luiz are also believed to be on Roberto Mancini’s summer shopping list. I can’t understand why the Italian hasn’t strengthened the centre of his defence
The likes of Micah Richards and Jack Rodwell can play at centre-back, but they would only be temporary solutions. However, centre-back is neither players natural position.
I’m talking about City going out and signing a real commanding centre-back, who would put pressure on the likes of Lescott and Kompany to perform. In the games that City have played so far the centre-backs just haven’t seemed comfortable.
Manchester City enjoyed a superb campaign last season and were both superb at the back and going forward. They looked assured at the back with captain Kompany always seemingly in control. This season opposition teams will fancy their chances of scoring against City.
Keeper Joe Hart can’t really be blamed for many of the goals that have gone in so far this season, because he hasn’t been given the best of protection from the players in front of him.
Manchester City do have a fantastic attack that will score them goals this season. However, they can’t be expected to score three goals every game for City to win games. If their attack has an off-day then City will find themselves losing far more games than last season.
I’m sure Manchester City Roberto Mancini is attempting to rectify the defensive errors. If City are going to use three at the back then the defenders are going to have to get accustomed to the formation. They played it throughout pre-season, but it doesn’t seem they have perfected it just yet.
Manchester City do have some really good defenders in the likes of Lescott, Kompany and Kolo Toure. They are all accomplished defenders and I think they will start to keep clean sheets sooner rather than later.
It’s scary to think though that Chelsea, Southampton and Liverpool have all scored two goals against the champions this season and still failed to win.
It just shows that even without good defensive displays that City can still pick up results, heaven help the rest of the league when City do start keeping clean sheets, because they could be in real trouble this season.
Do Manchester City need to strengthen their defence?