After Manchester City’s surprise 2-1 loss to lower seed Crystal Palace on Monday’s Premier League, English national team coach Gary Neville says that the City lacks the resolve to defend their hold on the title.
“They have got a mentality problem, there is no doubt about that,”the outyspoken former footballer said in an interview with Sky Sports. “This team cannot sustain success and I think that is a terrible thing to have levelled at you.”
Neville made the assertion after Manchester city never managed to come back despite the point made by Yaya Toure in the 78th minute of the match. By then, the Eagles’ Jason Puncheon shot the decisive second goal that added to Glenn Murray’s first half point and sealed the team’s victory.
“Ultimately they couldn’t break a resolute, resilient defence down against Crystal Palace,” Neville observed. The City had 22 goal attempts in the match. “Chelsea had that problem last season many times – it cost them the league. It has cost City [on Monday]. They just did not have enough to break them down.”
The English team coach went on to note that Manchester can’t seem to find the right spots for its players. “I do not think they have enough quality when they get it to wide positions. I do not think [Jesus] Navas is doing it for them. [Edin] Dzeko and [Sergio] Aguero up front as a partnership, is it a partnership? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.,” Neville mused.
“We said three, four months ago, ‘it is now or never for this team’. They cannot progress beyond the last 16 of the Champions League, they cannot sustain success by winning back-to-back championships, they are getting older and their average age is the highest in the league,” he further added.
Neville also lamented that the team might not be intact by next season. “Unfortunately some of those lads are not going to be there next season. That Manchester City team, with the ambition and quality they have, should be doing better than that.”