Man City: Guardiola now in 'very strange situation' at the Etihad | OneFootball

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·7 February 2023

Man City: Guardiola now in 'very strange situation' at the Etihad

Article image:Man City: Guardiola now in 'very strange situation' at the Etihad

Manchester City have lost their "thrill factor" and recent performances have been "very strange", journalist Dean Jones told GIVEMESPORT.

The reigning champions missed the opportunity to cut the gap to leaders Arsenal at the weekend, with a cloud of uncertainty now hanging over the club's future.

Manchester City news

As Pep Guardiola and his players trudged off the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium pitch following City's 1-0 defeat away to Spurs, it was difficult to imagine the news landscape shifting so drastically away from the result just 24 hours later.


However, on Monday morning when news the club had been charged with over 100 breaches of the Premier League's financial rules, it sent shockwaves throughout English football (Sky Sports).

A piece in The Athletic from correspondent Sam Lee detailed how the club responded to the charges, with claims City were left surprised by the news.

The report suggests City found out about the news just minutes before it went public and the club are keen to clear its name once and for all.

However, some sources have claimed this could take years to clear up, with hints Guardiola's contract may have already expired at the Etihad Stadium before a verdict is put into place.

Regardless, it comes during a period of uncertainty for City, as results on the pitch begin to cause concern for Guardiola and Co.

The Blues sit five points behind leaders Arsenal, which could stretch to eight, should the Gunners win their game in hand.

While the exact cause for City's struggles remains unclear, there are claims the Manchester-based outfit may have lost the spark that made them so irresistible in recent years.

What has Dean Jones said about Man City's recent form?

Recognising that performances aren't matching up to their usual lofty standards, journalist Jones told GMS in an interview that he believes City have lost their "thrill factor".

On the reigning champions, Jones said: "I'd say that this Manchester City team has lost a lot of its thrill factor, particularly in the last 10 game weeks or so.

"It probably goes back to when they played against Liverpool. This team haven’t got the intensity about them, it's very strange.

"Also, the positions that Erling Haaland was getting the ball and the way he was being fed the ball is not happening so much anymore.”

What is to blame for City's on-the-pitch struggles?

Despite having scored 31 goals so far this season, questions still remain over Haaland's suitability in this current City side.

Haaland failed to register a single shot in City's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, while managing just 27 touches during the match (FotMob).

In short, such doubts over Haaland are somewhat unjustified, with City's problems lying elsewhere on the pitch.

According to Understat, City have matched their current points total in the Premier League this season (45), with their xPTS total (45.41).

It suggests City's results are in line with their current performances on the pitch, with Guardiola's side not under or over-performing in the league.

Perhaps things will change between now and the end of the season, but should City wish to climb the table and regain a foothold in the title race, the Blues can ill-afford any more slip-ups, or risk Arsenal running away with the league.

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