With the highly anticipated Manchester derby coming in just a few days, sports analysts say that Manchester City might not be in the best shape to take on their rivals.
In a report by The Guardian, the news outlet says that the biggest factor that will determine the outcome of the match is how manager Manuel Pellegrini will handle city. The embattled manager has been heavily criticized by analysts and the media for Man City’s lacklustre performance this season.
Critics have cited the team’s statistics as the biggest indicator that Manchester has experienced a major slump during Pellegrini’s term. One of the most often cited is the fact that City has lost five of its last seven games in all of the competitions, including the surprise 2-1 loss handed to them by Crystal Palace on Monday. This also extends to the fact that the team has won only 4 of their last 14 outings.
Reports have circulated in the last few months of Pellegrini potentially being replaced if the season turns to worse for the team. However, while the manager’s assessment is yet to come at the end of the season, he stressed that he is not concerned about how the recent losses might affect his position. The Guardian noted that he is indeed safe for the moment.
On the other hand, Daily Mail analyst Ian Ladyman said that Pellegrini’s handling of the te4am is only part of the problem for Man City. Ladyman argued that individual player performance also contributed to the team’s overall subpar output.
Here, key scorers like Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure have not been able to rake in the goals as expected, with Dzeko only managing to sink in two goals in his last 22 appearances, while Toure has only gotten eight Premier League goals.
Centre-back Eliaquim Mangala has also yet to deliver, having started in only five of Manchester’s last 13 outings, this despite being Manchester’s most expensive player acquisition to date at £40 million. The cost is said to have limited City’s capacity to give top quality players good offers.