Many anticipated that Manchester City and Liverpool would once again ave a tight battle for the Premier League this season, but after just 14 games there is already an 11 point gap between Liverpool, who have dropped just 2 points, and Manchester City. Football expert Shane Kersh and I have been talking at length about this and at the beginning of the season both Shane and I believed that City would once again fend off the challenge from Liverpool, I even put some money on it! So where have things gone wrong at City, and is there any chance of them pulling back another 11 point deficit?
I am almost reluctant to write about City’s injury issues given the amount of money that they have spent in recent years, and that their bench players could probably start in any other team in the league, but we can’t ignore what is obvious. The season started badly with Leroy Sane being ruled out for almost a year, then Aymeric Laporte faced a 7 month lay off, and since then City have had unfortunate injuries to Aguero, Fernandinho, Rodri, and even Ederson got injured ahead of the crucial clash again Liverpool.
Raheem Sterling started the season in fine style and was scoring goals and creating assists for fun. Whilst he hasn’t being playing poorly however, he is far from the Sterling that we have been used to watching for City and in the absence of Sane and Aguero, Sterling has failed to step up as much as he should’ve done. When you are pushing for titles, you need your star players to play like star players.
Despite his age and the limitations that brought with it, Vincent Kompany was a massive voice in the dressing room and they have lost out on a huge influencer when he left in the summer. People may play this down because of the fact that he didn’t play a lot last season, but behind the scenes he was very much the driving force behind this squad. We should also mention Fabian Delph as well here, who is also a big talker and leader in the dressing room, two big voices gone.
Gabriel Jesus has been lined up for a while now to take over the reigns when Sergio Aguero eventually leaves the club, the sad truth is however, he just isn’t good enough. This is also something that has cost City and whilst Jesus is an assassin inside the box, he just doesn’t have the all round game which City need. Last week’s game against Newcastle was a perfect example of this, with Aguero injured and a relatively easy opposition, the Brazilian had his chance to really seize the opportunity, which he just didn’t do.
The one redeeming factor of this side is that they will fully believe that they can turn over the points difference and still win the title, they know they have a game against Liverpool which could reduce the gap to 8, and they know that once the gap gets shorter, the pressure is all on the Reds, which way do you see things going?
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