Manchester City have spent around £175 million bringing the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, David Silva and Yaya Toure to the Etihad Stadium.
Two Premier League titles in three years, along with FA Cup and Capital One Cup success, suggests that it has been money well spent, with the ‘noisy neighbours’ now very much lords of the manor.
City are, however, in danger of seeing their top-flight crown wrestled from their grasp, while Champions League struggles continue to concern and bemuse.
Last week we highlighted how the troubles of Manuel Pellegrini’s men in continental competition could be down to their failure to get enough shots away – with too many of those that are fired in failing to hit the target.
It appears, though, that it is not just in Europe where City are falling surprisingly short in the final third of the field.
Despite boasting an enviable array of attacking talent, Opta stats highlight the key areas in which the reigning champions are doing themselves few favours domestically – with more big opportunities squandered and the woodwork struck on more occasions than any other side in the division.
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Seeing efforts cannon back off the crossbar or post could be considered unfortunate, but football is a game of fine margins and the dividing line between success and failure is often little more than a few inches.
City will therefore be frustrated to have seen their efforts deliver eight points fewer than Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s men are nowhere near as wasteful, though, and are occupying the loftiest of perches at present because their frontmen are getting the job done.
City, on the other hand, have seen just 22 of their 198 shots on goal find the back of the net, and a conversion rate of 11.1 per cent is unlikely to be enough come the final reckoning in May.