Sunday’s 4-2 derby defeat against Manchester United was Manchester City’s fifth in their last seven games in all competitions.
The defeat ended the Citizens run of four consecutive derby wins and more importantly put their chances of an automatic Champions League place for next season in peril.
City are in terrible form, having lost six out of their last eight games in all competitions. For reigning Premier League champions that is simply an acceptable statistic.
The Citizens only victories in that run of eight games came against bottom of the table Leicester and West Brom, who are 14th in the Premier League table.
The poor results do not tell the whole story of City’s recent demise though. That poor run of results goes a lot deeper than just a few bad performances.
The current group of City players seem to be mentally weak or tired. As any team really when they are winning the players are fine, but when the going gets tough this current group of players seem to hide.
Real champions respond to adversity with fight and even when they are not playing well they grind out results, just like they did in the two Premier League title winning seasons. City look incapable of that this season.
A typical example of that weakness is when United scored their second goal in the derby every City players head seemed to drop and there seemed a complete lack of leadership.
Even captain Vincent Kompany who in the past would have been geeing the team up has not been his usual self this season. The Belgium international was substituted at half-time, after being booked in the first period.
Every great team needs leaders to band together those individuals into a team. Kompany, Yaya Toure and even full-back Pablo Zabaleta have came across as leaders in the past for this City team. However non of that leadership has been on display in recent games.
The current group of players seem to have became stale at City. The group are starting to age and there is less dynamism and pace in the City team than in previously seasons. The squad is in need of a major injection of youth and pace.
There are now very few players at City that could be described as exciting to watch. The only two players who would fit that bill now would be Sergio Aguero and David Silva, beyond that pair the rest are inconsistent at best.
Midfield man mountain Yaya Toure is enjoying his worse season in a City shirt. When on form he is unplayable, but he has not seemed the same player since the famous incident involving the club forgetting his birthday. The former-Barcelona star looks like his heart is not in it any more.
Captain Kompany just cannot recover his best form and this season has been a liability for City at times, making mistakes and costing his team.
Some of the signings that have arrived at City in recent transfer windows have also been poor.
City have spent a lot of money on players, who have struggled to show their quality since their arrival at the Etihad Stadium.
Spanish winger Jesus Navas is a good example of how City have wasted their money in recent years.
The Citizens may have paid under £15million for 29-year-old, but he struggles to find his team-mates with his crosses. For me he is all pace and very little end product.
Navas’ record of 14 assists in two seasons for Manchester City is not terrible, but he will never quite be a top level footballer. City need top level footballers to rise to the top of the football tree.
Summer signing Eliaquim Mangala arrived from FC Porto with a big reputation and an even bigger price tag as he cost City in the region of £32million. The 24-year-old has struggled to justify that massive price tag.
The France international was highly-rated prior to his move to the Etihad Stadium, but with every unconvincing performance he puts in he adds to the question marks about his ability to play in the Premier League.
All-in-all Manchester City have made poor investments in recent transfer windows and that is showing in their recent demise.
There are now major question marks hanging over boss Manuel Pellegrini’s head. The Chilean brought City the Premier League title in his first season in charge, but was brought in to help the team progress both domestically and on the European stage.
Poor tactics cost City dearly in the Champions League and they were simply outclassed by Spanish giants Barcelona.
The Chilean often seems bewildered at what he is witnessing from his team and does not seem to have the solutions to City’s problems. It would not be a major surprise to see a new man at the helm of Manchester City next season.
Manchester City are currently odds of 1/10 to qualify for the Champions League this season and it is vital that they do so in order to attempt to rebuild for next season.
This summer could be one of major changes for Manchester City and who could argue that they are not needed after recent results and the Citizens dropping down to fourth position in the Premier League table.
Do Manchester City need major changes to be successful?