After Chelsea’s disastrous start to the season, many expected Manchester City to ease their way to a third Premier League title this term.
But after defeats to Spurs and West Ham, draw at Aston Villa, and recent thrashing at the hands of Liverpool, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are far from nailed on to finish top of the pile.
So what three things have we learnt about City after 13 games?
1) Nobody in the Premier League can replace Aguero.
Although he’s a very good striker, Wilfried Bony has proved that he can’t offer the same quality as that of Sergio Aguero. We’re not trying to have a pop at the Ivorian because any forward which has to replace arguably the best player in the Premier League would find it difficult. The Argentina star’s seven goals in nine matches, including a record equalling five-goal haul versus Newcastle, compared with Bony’s two goals in 10 appearances, shows how big of a miss the former Atletico Madrid star is when he’s unavailable.
2) De Bruyne is the real deal.
Many eyebrows were raised when City paid a whopping £55 million for Kevin de Bruyne. But to be fair to the young Belgian he has made a fantastic start and, if even possible, looks every bit worth the money they forked out for him. A class act on the flank or in the number 10 role, the 24-year-old has already created 28 chances, scored three goals and made four assists. It’s almost impossible to replace David Silva, but with this man now in the squad City don’t quite miss their magical Spaniard as much as they have done in the past.
3) City and Pellegrini still need to learn vital lessons.
Despite a decent start to the Premier League season, Manchester City should already be on their way to a third title with the starts their rivals have made to the campaign. However, in the defeats against Spurs and Liverpool, it’s clear to see that Manuel Pellegini’s side once again have a soft centre, especially when Vincent Kompany isn’t fit. The need for another solid centre-back has been apparent for a couple of years but City signed Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi for big money. Apart from the first few games of this term, Mangala has looked all over the place, whilst Otamendi has been very shaky despite one impressive performance at Old Trafford. Additionally, the Chilean has still played Yaya Toure in a deep role at times and the Ivorian has often been overrun against teams who play a high-tempo, pressing game. This again was evident last term, mainly in the Champions League, but Pellegrini again seems to have ignored his team’s flaws which, on an off day, are easily exploited.