Manchester City have lacked any sense of urgency or passion in recent league matches. The continued struggles of the side can be attributed to a clear lack of leadership on the pitch. Those who truly lead this squad are players held over from previous regimes and eras. Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany were among the last buys of the Thaksin Shinawatra era.
The squad that was made over by Brian Marwood and Garry Cook and the core has remained in place since Tixi Begiristain became the Director of Football in October 2012. What is evident unfortunately is a squad whose newer players, regardless of quality are less inspirational than those signed under the previous regime.
Begiristain's buys have been a mixed bag, some filling genuine needs with an upgrade in quality like Fernandinho others perhaps falling short of the mark like Fernando, Stevan Jovetic and Eliaquim Mangala. It's easy to look at results and say the club bought better in the era when Marwood and his former Nike sidekick Garry Cook were running the club - but it is also a reality that regardless of the quality of the buys in footballing terms that have made under the current regime, the new crop lacks real leaders.
That leaves the club in a position when Kompany, Zabaleta, Toure, Aguero and Kolarov are out of the team or off the game, little inspiration comes from other figures. We saw a great effort late on in the Champions League comeback win against Borussia Mönchengladbach, but in the Premier League where every match is a mental and physical battle, something is missing when the leaders among the field players are not out there.
The current Blues side with injuries shows a lack of urgency except at the very last moment and unfortunately a lack of interest in many of the Premier League battles in front of them. Entering the festive period which is always a mental grind for players, these issues must be solved quickly, or the Blues risk losing touch with the top of the Premier League table.