Manchester City tumbled many records on their way to the Premier League title last season. They scored the most goals, acquired the most points and got the most victories in the Premier League history.
So does it mean that they will win the Premier League title this year also? Not really. Following are some of the reasons why Manchester City will not be able to defend their title this year.
In the history of the Premier League, the defending champions have often not done well. Just looking at the recent history gives us the dismaying trend for the defending champions.
Manchester United won the Premier League title in 2012-13 and what happened to them the next year? They finished seventh in the league table.
Then Chelsea who won the title in 2014-15 under Mourinho had a disastrous campaign for the next year, losing twelve matches and finishing tenth in the table by the end. While Leicester City who won the 2015-16 Premier League title amassed only 44 points compared to the 93 points of that year’s winning Chelsea. This trend is very much visible in the Premier League unlike other football leagues like the Champions League.
A matter of priority
Last season, Manchester City were absolutely unstoppable. They were determined to break the Arsenal’s 49-match invincibles record even at one point. However, their performances were limited to the domestic area only. In the Champions League, Pep Guardiola’s men performances were not satisfactory at all. They lost their first UCL match to Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stages. Later against Liverpool, they were first thrashed 3-0 at Anfield and then lost the second leg of the quarter-finals as well. Hence ended the hopeful campaign of Manchester City.
There is no doubt about the caliber of the City players and their great manager. However, they will have to prioritize this season whether they will be focused on the home-front or the European front. And very likely Manchester City will focus on the Champions League. Since City’s fixtures will get very congested later in the season, it will be very hard for Pep Guardiola not to lose points in the league while doing well at the European front.
The pressure on Fernandinho
In the summer, Manchester City could not bring Jorginho to their side. The very talented Jorginho went to Chelsea instead, the place where his former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri is now serving. Unfortunate for Manchester City as he would have been a perfect replacement for Yaya Toure who left City at the end of last season.
The failure of Manchester City to bring Jorginho to the Etihad meant that Fernandinho will be under more pressure now. Plus, at 33 years of age, how much can City expect from him? Though City has alternatives as John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko, they all are not as fit for the role as Jorginho.