Manchester City faces a big Champions League quarter-final with their French equivalent PSG on Wednesday night.
The Citizens may have to make the most of these big European nights because there is now a real possibility that they will not be in the Champions League next season.
Not only has their title challenge fallen by the wayside, but the Citizens are even struggling to hold on to their spot in the top four.
This is not exactly the situation Pep Guardiola would have expected his new team to be in when he agreed to take charge of the Citizens for next season.
The best active boss
For me Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is the best currently active boss in world football. He seems to have every attribute that is needed.
He comes across as a cool customer, but he has the ability to switch to a ruthless wielder of the axe when it comes to players, just Ronaldinho and Deco during their time together at Barcelona.
His man-management style and grasp on tactics have also been lauded wherever he has managed, which is currently only Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Critics will say that both his previous jobs were cushy, but the Catalan giants just came off the back of a poor campaign by their standards when Pep was handed the job and he made some very bold decisions in his early time in Catalonia.
Guardiola makes teams and players better, which is what great bosses do in any arena of life not just football teams. He can inspire and is not afraid of upsetting players with big egos. He will make Manchester City better, but his job now looks a lot harder.
Manchester City players are aging
A number of the Manchester City players are getting into the twilight of their career and will need to be replaced. City’s transfer business during the past few windows has not been great and they are paying for it this season.
The first player out the Manchester City exit door according to reports from every man and their dog will Yaya Toure. The central midfielder was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona by Pep and went on to inspire City to their big biggest recent glories.
However, for the last couple of seasons Toure has laboured and has not been giving his team enough to keep his pace in a team next season that will be all about dynamism.
Toure is not the only one who is aging and could be put out to pasture. The likes of Martin Demichelis and Willy Caballero are unlikely to be deemed good enough by Guardiola, as the pair often do fantastic impressions of Sunday league players.
The likes of Bacary Sagna, Aleksandar Kolarov, Pablo Zabaleta, David Silva, Gael Clichy, Fernandinho and Jesus Navas are all 30 and over. Whether Guardiola will want to completely revolutionise his City squad remains to be seen.
The Spaniard will certainly want to bring in his own players and not many of the current squad could say that they deserve to still be at the club next season.
Fight for fourth
Manchester City may be odds of 1/ 2 to finish in the top-four, but arch-rivals Manchester United and West Ham are breathing down their necks. The Citizens really cannot afford to slip-up along the way, as either of the teams below them could capitalise on any slip-ups.
Manchester City have spent a fortune building a squad in recent history. It seems that the Citizens may just be the Premier League equivalent of the Emperor’s New Clothes, as they have shelled out a lot of money and got nothing to show for it.
Pep Guardiola seems like a man who knows a good suit when he sees one and he will be highly concerned at the situation currently unfolding at City.
It seems bizarre that next season big spending City and one of the greatest bosses of the modern era may well not be in the Champions League, unless Pellegrini’s side win the competition of course, which looks highly-unlikely.
Whatever happens to City for the remainder of the campaign, Pep Guardiola will no doubt be heavily backed in the transfer market this summer. Dealing in the transfer market is not Guardiola’s biggest strength, but you can guarantee that City will do a lot better next season under the Spaniard.
Will Manchester City make the Champions League this season?