Manchester City suffered a 3-0 defeat at Liverpool on Wednesday, which was almost inevitable considering their horrendous record at Anfield and the fact they had just beaten the Reds in the Capital One Cup final.
In truth City looks like a beaten team at the moment. City are a team struggling for confidence, despite the presence of a number of high quality players in their team.
Well behind in the Premier League title race
The midweek Premier League results will not have made good reading for City and their fans. At the start of the campaign they were favourites to win the Premier League title a long with reigning champions Chelsea.
They had once again spent big in the transfer market bringing in Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling. It looked like they were going to run away with the league early in the campaign, as reigning champions Chelsea started the season in horror form.
The table now looks like grim reading for City fans. City are ten points behind league leaders Leicester, although they do have a game in-hand on the thriving Foxes. Still seven points is still a major gap at this point of the season and the Citizens are odds of 7/1 to be crowned champions at the end of the season.
City are now only ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United on goal difference and West Ham by a point. It’s a good job the Citizens are playing hapless Aston Villa at the weekend, or they could have been facing the possibility of dropping out the top four.
Time for change at City
I have always admired Manuel Pellegrini. As a big watcher of La Liga his work at Villarreal was fantastic. He turned a very small football club into a team that finished in the top four of La Liga on a regular basis.
The veteran boss was unlucky to get the boot from Real Madrid, but bosses have lost their job for achieving far more at the Bernabeu.
The Chilean boss comes across as a really nice guy and he has achieved a lot in his managerial career. However from the moment he announced that he was leaving and Pep Guardiola was arriving in the summer, City have stuttered.
The experienced boss has looked bewildered at times this season, like he does not know what’s going on. I am sure many City fans have share that emotion during the current campaign.
As much as I like Pellegrini though, he is not in the top echelons of bosses in world football. He was never going to take City to world domination. His biggest achievements have actually come at Villarreal and Malaga.
Winning trophies at City should be easy with the resources available to him as a boss. However, when most of the so called ‘big teams’ have flopped this season, City have floundered like a fish out of water.
Pep Guardiola need to give them the kiss of life and then throw them back into the water on his arrival.
Evolution at Manchester City
Pep Guardiola is one of the great modern day coaches of European football. Cynics will say he has only managed Barcelona and Bayern Munich, who are giants with big resources.
However, when he became head coach of Barcelona he was a rookie, stepping-up from the Barcelona B team. The Blaugrana were in need of revitalising, as some of their players were reaching the twilight of their career, just like City in some ways.
Guardiola made some big decisions and ousted some very big names from the Catalan club. The then rookie boss also made a certain Lionel Messi a regular starter for the Spanish giants.
The 45-year-old will no doubt have an idea of which players he wants to keep and which players he wants to bring in. The City hierarchy will probably already have been informed of Guardiola’s summer transfer plans.
The Catalan is likely to be ruthless with his changes at the Etihad Stadium and at the moment it seems that is exactly what is needed to turn City into a real force. The Citizens are highly-ambitious and the way they are currently performing is not good enough.
Snapping up Pep Guardiola is a major coup for Manchester City. The job at the Etihad Stadium could be the biggest challenge of his career, but if anybody can turn City into a winning machine it is the former-Barcelona boss.
Does Manchester City need to make big personnel changes to be successful?