It wouldn’t be unfair to suggest Manchester City’s season is now the Champions League or bust, they can’t win the Premier League unless a miracle occurs and the Carabao Cup is considered a minor trophy, and with that in mind, the squad has held a crisis meeting after a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
After winning two successive Premier League titles in such a swashbuckling manner, it’s hard to imagine Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in any form of crisis, yet an inability to replace Vincent Kompany has proven the catalyst to a poor defence of their crown.
Defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs on Sunday left the Blues a whole 22 points behind league leaders, Liverpool, and to put that into context that is more of a gap than there was between the Blues and Manchester United in second place back in 2017/18.
Man City are set to face Real Madrid in the first knockout round of the Champions League, and whilst the English club are widely considered a better team, Los Blancos’ form has them as favourites going into the tie.
According to the Daily Mail, there was a 45-minute crisis meeting between Guardiola and his players in the aftermath of the Spurs defeat. They were trying to find urgent solutions to problems ahead of the clash with Los Blancos, although it’s understood that the players blamed the coach for excessive changes to the starting line-up this season.
Guardiola hasn’t kept the same starting XI for two successive matches this season, and he is the coach who has made the most changes to his line-up in the entire division. The former Barcelona coach was willing to listen to what his players had to say, especially with the club’s form having never been this erratic since he arrived in Manchester, not even in the dark days of conceding six goals to Monaco across two matches.
Guardiola has never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League since joining Man City, yet that competition is now the only one that can save the team’s season.
Raheem Sterling’s injury puts even more pressure on the English club ahead of the tie against Los Merengues, with the England international integral to Guardiola’s tactical plans. An alternative must be found before the Champions League resumes, otherwise, it’s going to be a very difficult season to explain for the former Bayern Munich coach.
SOURCE: Vanguard News