Manchester City have been a dominant force for the past two seasons. A slip up is always expected as no team can completely rule for years, especially in a very competitive league like Premier League. But that doesn’t mean we can let the guards down and move on to next season altogether. We would like to dig deep why Manchester City had a mediocre League season this time around, as compared to their capabilities.
Too Many Defeats
In the past two seasons, the Citizens have amassed a massive 198 points (100 in 2017-18, 98 in 2018-19). This time they had to end up at just 81 points, 18 points less than the champions, Liverpool. Reason? A very high number of defeats as they have lost 9 games this season. This is more than what they have lost cumulatively in the previous two seasons. When you lose 23% of games and a team like Liverpool is waiting to capitalize, you just can’t see a comeback.
Instability in Defense
Scoring goals is not a problem. They have scored 102 goals this season, 17 more than the Premier League champions Liverpool and almost 40 more than their neighbours, Manchester United. The one main problem, which has cost City a whole season is their instabilities in defense. Man City legend, Vincent Kompany, left the club last summer. He was not always fit to play but was a leader on and off the pitch. He still knew how to operate the back four which he used to pass on to the youngsters. No one has replaced Kompany yet.
Aymeric Laporte was made the in-charge of defence ship. In the previous season, Laporte has been one of the most dependable and trustworthy defenders in PL. Come this season, and he has to be stretchered off in the fourth game of the league itself. He didn’t return to fitness until January. What happened in these months? Pep Guardiola was so short of options that Fernandinho, who his already 35 years old, had to play every game as a full-fledged centre-back. Guardiola didn’t trust Nicolas Otamendi to rescue City’s defence. John Stones has never been the same since his expensive arrival at the Etihad Stadium.
Jao Cancelo, after his big move in the summer, wasn’t able to adapt quickly to the English environment. Benjamin Mendy’s endless meetings with injuries meant the left-back spot wasn’t sealed as well. A team with so many defensive fragilities cannot be expected to win the league title. As Sir Alex said, goals make you win matches, but it is the defence which makes you win leagues. Pep knows what he needs to do next season. Eric Garcia is one for the future, and he deserves his chance next season. But keeping him in the starting XI won’t be wise. Man City needs to enter the transfer market and get a centre-back and left-back. Nathan Ake and David Alaba are linked to a move to Etihad next season. Not only them, but few others are also tipped to wear City’s jersey next season. Who will it be? Let’s wait and watch.