Speaking ahead of the game against Burnley, the City boss stated that he was not looking to add any new faces to his squad in the upcoming transfer window.
This may come as a surprise to many who feel the team requires some new additions especially in the defence. The long-term injury suffered by key center-back Aymeric Laporte has left the team exposed as there is no adequate cover for the position. Defensive midfielder Fernandinho was drafted to the position and has done relatively well so far.
But the Brazilian has been caught napping on several occasions especially in tough matches. His foul at the edge of the penalty box in the dying minutes of the game against Newcastle United led to an equaliser from the resulting free kick. City then played out a 2-2 draw with Steve Bruce’s side to go 11 points behind Liverpool in the title race.
The team’s capitulation on several occasions (which has included failure to keep a clean sheet in the last seven games) has led to many calling on the manager to bring in a natural center-back in January. However, Guardiola has remained adamant, insisting that his team will bounce back from the setback to fight for the title. To achieve that, he has called on the players to believe.
It’s easy to understand why the City gaffer feels his team will cope with the situation and still has a chance in the title race. Liverpool went seven points ahead last season but still capitulated to lose out. What he has not realised though is the fact that the Reds are a stronger unit this time around. Jurgen Klopp has instilled a winning mentality into his men, who are the reigning European champions.
Another former Reds’ boss Brendan Rodgers has also become a huge stumbling block to City. The Northern Irishman has got Leicester City faithful dreaming again after leading the side to second place on the table thus far. Matches against the club have been difficult for City in the recent past and that is set to continue this term.
But apart from the head-to-head results between the two sides, clinging on to the second spot will keep Man City at bay in the title race. The only way the Sky Blues can jump both Leicester and Liverpool is to arrest the slump and go on a prolonged winning run while hoping they both falter.
Unfortunately, as a result of the injury to some key players and inconsistent form from players like Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones, the team is not as strong as it was last term.
Making some additions in the January transfer window would have been the ideal solution (that’s the reason for the window anyway, so why not use it when you need to?).
It remains to be seen how things will pan out in the end. At least both Laporte and Leroy Sane are set to return between February and March. One can only hope the damage already done will not be beyond repair by then.