During the infamous Sky Sports commentary when City won the title in 2012, Niall Quinn said “this could be the start of a dynasty,” yet seven years later there has been no era of dominance.
The Blues came off second best to United the following season, then they failed to regain it after their 2013/14 triumph, and this season could end up the same, so why? Complacency is key.
City are constantly reminded of the amount they spent to get where they are, but the importance of how the money is spent is massive both in their successes and failures. Following the 2012 title win City bought Javi Garcia, Matija Nastasic, Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Maicon, does that sound like a title-winning summer to you?
That summer’s spending was based on the belief that the club’s existing squad was good enough to win it again. As we know, United bought Robin Van Persie and won the title by a massive 11 points, so City’s squad clearly wasn’t as good as the club thought.
You’d think lessons would be learned two years later, but in the summer of 2014 City bought centre-back flop Eliaquim Mangala, Fernando and then Wilfried Bony in January for big money. The less said about these three the better, so it’s hardly surprising that City didn’t win the title and then finished fourth the following season.
The hole in the poor spending argument is that City still had a number of great players through these years. Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero is a spine that nearly every team in Europe would have in their line-up, and perhaps the lack of competition bred complacency on the pitch as well as inside the boardroom.
After last year’s Centurions season Kompany repeatedly mentioned his desire to win back-to-back titles, even at the trophy parade. City fans thought things would be different and the signs were good when the majority of players turned up for pre-season training earlier than they needed to.
However, it’s become clear over the Christmas period and against Newcastle last week that once City go 1-0 ahead, they slow down the intensity, something which isn’t expected of a Guardiola team. Pep’s side have lost against Crystal Palace, Leicester and Newcastle from winning positions yet played like their lives depended upon it again Liverpool at the Etihad.
It’s almost as if the squad know that, at full intensity, they are too good for anyone in this league and believe they don’t have to put it all in. This comes is alongside another below-par summer window, where after it City still rely too heavily on 33-year-old Fernandinho and only have one left back at the club. Both issues should have been resolved before the start of this season.
It seems clear that City, both in the boardroom and on the pitch, haven’t learned from their mistakes after previous title wins. They must now shake off any arrogance or complacency in the remaining games to pile pressure on Liverpool and hope they bottle it as usual.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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