Once it was a twelve-point gap, now it is cut…
The defeat to Arsenal at the Etihad put the Citizens a step back in their pursuit of the Premier League title. The gap widened to 5 points between themselves and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. This of course, was a team that had been unbeaten in their past 12 Premier league matches. What followed was a totally unexpected Arsenal performance, playing a defensive rigidness not seen for years. Although Manchester City as a whole played well below their level, much of the source for their struggles can be attributed with the loss of Yaya Toure. Obviously due to the African Cup of Nations, the Ivorian international missed the crucial match, along with new signing Wilfred Bony.
Manchester City were bereft of ideas on how to breach the uncharacteristically organized Arsenal defense. Even with the presences of David Silva and Sergio Aguero, Arsenal isolated the Argentine striker by marking and even double marking the Spanish playmaker. What resulted was an offensively uninspired Manchester City performance.
If City hope to compete on all fronts, they would need one, perhaps two players of Yaya Toure’s ilk. Some nominees would be the likes of the Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba. Europe’s strongest all have a central midfielder in their prime; Bayern have Bastian Schweinsteiger, Real Madrid have Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, Chelsea have Cesc Fabregas. Players like Sergio Aguero and David Silva are incredibly talented, but require an engine to play at their best. Yaya Toure is their engine, but nearing 32, they will need new quality ones in the future if they aspire to be the part of Europe’s elite.
Image: Manchester City FC M David Silva in action. Fot. Photo Works / Bigstock