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The English Premier League is without a doubt the best league in the world. Whether it be the players signed, the coaches assigned or the mouth watering,heart stopping title race and/or the relegation battle this league leaves you stunned, shocked or joyous every week. Which in this case as you can see the table as it stands, Leicester City of Claudio Raieneri sit top with a 6 point lead  over city and on the perfect fairytale run to practically winning the league. So, where did the title race go wrong for Manchester City? 

6 points may seem like a small gap in a title race if and when you’re sitting 2nd, in City’s case they sit 4th behind Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester. Many have said the title for the blues is over and at this stage of the season and where they sit we can all agree. Luck is something in football where on the day you have it or you don’t. Manchester City need pretty much all the luck in the world to somehow cut the gap and hope the results of Leicester, Spurs and Arsenal somehow go their way, yes we are asking a lot from the football gods. If it’s meant to be that is.
What Manchester City has become over the past 8 years is really something astonishing, they are family, a football club and a worldwide franchise. City need to be challenging on all fronts, and challenging every major trophy there is and they are. To do that and have a successful season the team needs to be focused, fit and determined. That is what we saw in their first EPL winning season of 11/12 and again in 13/14 season under Pellegrini in which they underwent a 20 match unbeaten streak. I come back to the word “luck” and if you have it you have it. 

The season began in August could not have started better for City with 9 wins in all competitions, showing glimpses of champions, however it is no lie City at times have not been their flamboient selves and when football can be cruel…it can be cruel. Injuries to top players for example, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Aguero, Mangala, Gael Clichy, Kevin De Bryune the list goes on, made City stumble, throwing new not trialed partnerships on the field, tired not fully fit players hurt City. In October 2015 Manchester City recorded 26 players injured, the most in the premier league losing 337 days to injury cost them positions, games and valuable points. As players were injured and scarce depth, Pellegini turned to the U/21s. Kelechi Ihenacho bursts onto the scene the most prolific goal scoring substitute with 8 goals, 6 assists and he has directly contributed to a goal every 44 minutes so far this season. Do we defend Manchester City’s results or are they simply excuses or put simply, this is just not their season?

  In direct contrast to Pellegrini, Claudio Raineri has pushed and produced a stellar team in all parts of the field, now if we say and recognise, if the manager has a fully fit team season round, does that in anyway impact their season? Yes.
Leicester sit top,there is no lie they have been the best team this season and sit there deservedly ,however, Leicester has had 15 injuries affecting 9 players, Rainer has lost 184 days to injury since the season began in August. Keep your players fit, play with the hunger and fight the Foxes have and you will be sitting high. 

Again, is Mancehster City fans being whimps, throwing excuses for a bad season or is there reason? 

I mentioned earlier of City and their strut of this season, in my opinion they look distracted. 

 

Manuel Pellegrini’s season up to now has been a real roller coaster. Sitting fourth is really not the end of the world, 6 points away, and still challenging for 3 major trophies. So why the critiques? 

In any big league around the world the games played against the top 4 or 6  are pivotal in the run for the title or to stay safe.
In Pellegrini’s tenure with City he has played 9 games against top 6 opposition; W3 D5 L9. Manchester City have not beaten anyone in the top 6 this season W0 D3 L4. Why?  Tactics, players, playing style, scheduling or injuries all play a part but, is this just apart football and City just “take it on the chin” or do we need to see the bigger picture of football.

In my opinion as things turned sour, there was a huge elephant in the room at City. When Manchester City became the big shots they are today one man was practically destined to take over one day,  Mr Pep Guardiola. The media and fans wanted it and more so the press, they milked it until the news came out. 

February 1 2016 Pep announced as Manchester City coach. 

  

Manuel has 3 months of the league to go, 11 games, challenging 3 major trophiesand is told he won’t be in next season, there’s already a replacement so do what you can from here till the end of the season. No added pressure right? The announcement in the most crucial part of the season was in my opinion disrespectful towards Pellegrini, but hey that’s football right. 

Since the news broke on Feb 1 Manchester City lost 3 games dropping valuable points and the most crucial defeat to date V Leicester and Spurs.

Pellegrini quickly realised his situation and teams situation, players are now  fit, for the first time this season City will have VK NO EM MD PZ GC and AK fit and available for selection. Must have felt like a dream…

City faced Chelsea in the 5th round of the FA Cup on the 22nd of Feb losing 5-1. Tomorrow the 25th of Feb City face Dynamo Kiev in the KO stages of the UCL. Against Chelsea Pellegrini realised the stupid schedule and prioritised fielding 6 U21s and 2 more on the bench resting a number of key players. How can we argue if Pellers said “the priority is the Champions League” that is the club we are today, we need this win, we need to advance and show the world we are made for this competition. You can argue or think he disrespected the FA Cup but imo he did not.

The pressure is on Pellegrini and nobody can tell you otherwise, tomorrow’s game against Kiev away is the biggest game of the season, a win there in my opinion will propel City’s turnaround, we need to remember they are only 6 points away, have a League Cup Final to play, and CL.is it too little to late, or just fast forward to Pep Guardiola? We need to centre ourselves and see the big picture, fans and others can hate City all they want but football is a funny game and turns very rapidly…

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Written by javierasilvab

Javiera, from Sydney, just a lover of the beautiful game. Twitter: @javierasilva95 Email: javierasilva12@hotmail.com

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