In the pre-season, every media organisation did their annual pundits and experts predictions almost everyone found that the best two teams would be Manchester's big two.

In what order, is dependent on the organisation, the example I gave was from the BBC who expected City to come out on top of United.

We are now halfway through the season and it could not be clearer that City are a long way off being champions of England.

However surely it seemed obvious at the start of the season that they were not going to win the title not when both Chelsea and Liverpool (both sitting in first and second respectively) have got a great shot at the title without any European distractions.  

Manchester City have a terrible defence, the addition of John Stones has done very little to help City improve from what was a woeful season defensively last campaign.

Pep Guardiola is, of course, to be blamed for this shambles; the stats are not fictional only eight clean sheets in all competitions this season.

That is an outrageous statistic and when you see the defending in some of the games you can only wonder how on earth pundits and experts could ever have picked City to finish on top of the pile.

Guardiola never changed the defence, all the full backs needed replacing after last season and the centre of defence needed much more strengthening than just John Stones.

Pablo Zabaleta is now too old and his pace has completely gone which makes him irrelevant against teams with pace on the wings because there is no way he can run up and down the wings like he used to just three seasons ago.

He actually demonstrated an excellent transformation as a holding midfielder on Friday night against West Ham United so possibly Pep can convert him.

Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy have been poor this season, Kolarov has had a nasty knack of being at the end of almost every calamitous goal that city have conceded this season, aided by Claudio Bravo and John Stones mind you.

The question worth asking is: why is Pep Guardiola not relying on the City Elite Development Squad.

Pablo Maffeo has already demonstrated how great he is in the league cup this season and Tosin Adarabioyo is tipped to be a defensive stalwart in the future, so what is wrong with playing them?

The game against Leicester was the realisation point for most pundits that something is wrong at City, it was obvious that defensively they are shocking, of the four goals conceded many could argue that three of them were poor on behalf of the City back line.

Stones passing the ball straight to Jamie Vardy for Vardy’s hat-trick epitomised the lack of understanding and communication as well as the poor judgement this defence is criticised for.

In the game against Liverpool, Kolarov made yet another mistake of not picking up Giorginio Wijnaldum after losing the ball going forward, his third this season (Celtic in the Champions League and Tottenham in the Premier League).

Players that should have been replaced last summer, a system that is not working properly and over enthusiasm for passing the football in a league that does not forgive. Can Pep Guardiola learn his lesson for the second half of the season?



Why have Manchester City disappointed us so far?