Before the win over Burnley on Monday, Manchester City had played 19 league games and had technically reached the half way point in the Premier League season with many up’s, and plenty of downs for us blues to digest.
City raced out of the blocks to a ten game winning streak all seemed to be going well, and things would only get better (or so supporters thought).
But then came along the same old – “Typical City.”
The wheels started to come off on the road to Spurs before they full on derailed away over the coming months.
Three 1-1 home draws against mid-table opposition which should have been three victories soon followed. Were it not for Maarten Stekelenburg morphing into a hybrid of Gianluigi Buffon and Gordon Banks in the draw with Everton, John Stones’ mistake against Southampton and City’s inability to convert chances against Middlesborough, City would have been on course for three straight home victories.
With two penalty misses and a draw with Southampton the week after. A win over West Brom soon followed before a return to the Etihad Stadium occurred and this time against Middlesbrough.
Out of form Gael Clichy forgot to take the nails out of his feet against Marten De Roon to rise all of two inches off the floor to nod home the equaliser versus Middlesbrough with seconds remaining – despite City’s domination throughout the contest.
The team meltdown was well underway when against Chelsea, Sergio Aguero did what all City fans wanted to do that day – and put in a horror challenge on David Luiz after years of petulance.
In both games, supporters wouldn’t be mistaken to think a fan had put on the ’11 Kolarov’ shirt and masqueraded in the City defence. City were humiliated by a lacklustre Leicester side with Jamie Vardy scoring three, despite going sixteen games without a goal previously.
But it hasn’t been all doom and gloom. Victory in the Manchester Derby, coming back from one down to beat Arsenal, and the glorious victory over Barcelona finally in Champions League were some of the club’s highlights thus far.
Something seems amiss, and the press and rival fans are jumping all over this with some stretching as far as to call out Pep Guardiola for having a minor meltdown.
But cast your mind back to those early Pep Guardiola interview where he said many a time that Manchester City couldn’t win the league with they way they were playing during the open stages of the season.
It’s a strange thing to say when you were on an undefeated run, but maybe looked into the future and envisaged a City meltdown. Some players are struggling with his tactics and methods; maybe some players aren’t as good as he thought or hoped.
People love to go to extremes, and some fans have been moaning and booing even calling for the managers head. Meanwhile, the atmosphere at the Etihad has been like a morgue at most home games, with fans only seem to get vocal if City goes behind or after bad refereeing decision (yes there has been many).
Before the start of the season, Manchester City was seen as favourites because of their underperforming stars would seemingly find a new lease of life under Guardiola, and six months later, already the masses at City labelling Pep a fraud.
Yes, there are a few over the hill players who are one season too far into their City careers but believe me, Manchester City are nowhere near as bad as some make-out. Little is mentioned that the Blues are just two points off a Liverpool team supposedly playing great football and with no European football to deal with on a weekly basis.
With Aguero likely to hit top form and Gabriel Jesus incoming and another stint in the latter stages of the Champions League to come – fans need not panic. A potential signing or two to come in January (please be a left back, please be a left back ) things might be looking a lot more stable at the Etihad come may.