What has gone wrong with Manchester City this season?
We are not even half-way through the Premier League season yet, and the defending champions Manchester City have already been beaten 4 times.
If we reflect on City’s performance last season, they were actually beaten 4 times during the entire season, which shows how much they were in control as they became the English champions the second time in a row.
Why can’t they show that consistency this season? Not a lot has changed. Yes, Vincent Kompany has moved, but with the depth that City have in their squad, you expect them to adapt to the players’ departure and they always have somebody in the reserves to step up to the plate.
But, it’s clearly not happening. City’s defence is looking much more vulnerable than it has looked in years.
City actually had the opportunity to go for one of Harry Maguire or Virgil van Dijk in the summer, but they opted against it and are now using Fernandinho in the heart of defence, a position left vacant by Kompany.
Fernandinho is undoubtedly a class player, but he is more of a defensive midfielder than a centre-half and he is not being able to deliver to his full capacity in his centre-half position at all.
Rodri, whom Guardiola is using in the holding midfield role in place of Fernandinho, is only in his first season in the Premier League and is still finding his feet in terms of the nature of the league and the style of play in England.
This has created a loophole from the midfield to the backline of City and although they have got one of the world’s best offensive lines, they find themselves in trouble every time they are caught on the counter-attack.
That’s the tactic that their local rivals Manchester United used against City in the recent Manchester Derby. They maintained low blocks and waited for an opportunity to counter-attack and they ended up being successful as they beat City 2-1, playing away at Etihad.
City manager, Pep Guardiola will have to sort out this defensive problem going ahead in the season if he wants to catch up with Liverpool. For now, this doesn’t seem to be a realistic prospect nor do they look likely to challenge for the Champions League title.
Cover image credits: City Xtra
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