The warning signs may have been there for the past month...
Winning a trophy one week, dumped out of a competition the next. It is probably a bit odd to ask this question, but is Manchester City’s season just starting to unravel?
After lifting their first trophy under Manuel Pellegrini by overcoming Sunderland 3-1 at Wembley last weekend, it seemed as if their season was well on track. They had that winning feeling and that springboard for further success.
But there have been warning signs in the past month or so that City’s season could unravel.
They face a massive week this week as they seek to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Barcelona in the Nou Camp, before returning to Premier League action away to Hull City.
They haven’t been as convincing as they were earlier on in the season. At the start of February they were beaten at home by Chelsea – losing their 100% domestic home record and haven’t really looked like the same side since.
They failed to score against Norwich City at Carrow Road and registered wins against Chelsea in the FA Cup and against Stoke City, and against the latter they didn’t look particularly convincing.
They also lost to Barcelona and the loss to Wigan Athletic was on the cards from the first whistle. They looked frail, and tired, and even though they had a couple of chances towards the end of the game they failed to put them away.
Mark Lawrenson in his Daily Mirror column today makes comments about all of the home losses this season, and seems to think the man responsible is the manager, despite making them one of the more free scoring sides in the country.
“Against Bayern he picked the wrong team, against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the league he was completely outplayed and outmanoeuvred.
“And against Barcelona he played Martin Demichelis and literally paid the penalty.
“Pellegrini seems to have a blind spot with Demichelis. Every single time he plays he makes a mistake.”
Surely it can't be down to the selection of just the one player? It has to be a bigger issue; one of them will be that they haven't been as prolific in front of goal since the start of February.
City need to bounce back and quickly – and where better to start than at the Nou Camp against Barcelona this week?
It could be just a blip, but the free-scoring City needs to return to put the fear back into the rest of the Premier League as soon as possible.
image: © geetarchurchy