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Manchester City players need help - from themselves

They're not fighting enough, and that has to change

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City have not won a football match for over a month now, and Sunday's performance against Southampton was definitely the worst in the Pep Guardiola Era.

Some may argue that the 2-0 loss against Tottenham Hotspur was worse, but at least in that game the team had some attitude, some personality, some willingness to try and do something.

What we saw against Saints was no attitude, no personality, no willingness to try and do something. It seemed at times like the team was satisfied with the results, and no matter what substitutions Pep Guardiola made, he just couldn't get his team to fight hard enough.

With more time to process what took place at Etihad Stadium, what we saw was not only below the standards from a tactical perspective, it was not up to the standards from an attitude standpoint. City look weak mentally, unable to react properly from bad circumstances and too comfortable with the negative things happening around them.

And that's where we have to resist the temptation to blame the coach and look at the players. They're not trying enough. They're not working hard enough. They don't seem angry enough with the bad results, and in the case of Sunday's match, bad play.

Maybe Pep is trying too hard to implement his system, and maybe it's time he takes a step back and looks to adapt to his squad a little bit more, taking a slower approach in teaching Pep Ball. What Pep can't do is go on the pitch slapping everyone's faces and screaming at them to play harder. The players have to fight adversity themselves, find a way to respond to negative circumstances with determination and persistence.

You may think it's Guardiola's fault. You may think his style won't work in England. Well, it did for the first ten games, but there were no adversities then, everything was perfect and the players didn't need to worry about fighting hard to overcome struggle. They do now.

Pep Ball will never work if the players don't buy into it - even when things are going wrong.