Speaking on a recent episode of the Football Writers Podcast, John Cross questioned Manchester City’s hunger to fight for the Premier League title this season.
After five games of their 2020/21 Premier League campaign, City find themselves languishing down in 13th in the league table, having won two, against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal, drawn two, against Leeds United and West Ham United, and lost one, against Leicester City, of their opening matches of the season.
And, considering City spent £146.97 million on incoming transfers in the summer transfer window, on players such as Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, in addition to the plethora of highly valued talent already within their squad, the fact that the side have got off to their worst start under the leadership of Pep Guardiola has caused Cross, in a recent episode of the Football Writers Podcast, to question the side’s desire to fight for the Premier League title this season.
He said: “Steve Wilson from the BBC came up with a great line at the weekend. He said that Man City, at the moment, look like a Manchester City tribute act – they look a bit like Manchester City, they sound a bit like Manchester City, but they’re not quite Manchester City. I thought that was spot-on, to be honest.
“They haven’t got the same hunger and chase and the same fluidity that they’ve had in recent seasons. I’m just not convinced by some of the new signings yet, in that I think individually, they’ve been decent, but have they got enough? [In] Dias and Ake, have they strengthened the defensive unit enough? Did they do enough in midfield? I would say arguably not.
“I just can’t see City winning the Premier League title, [and] if they can’t win the Premier League title, are they strong enough, particularly defensively, to go and do something in Europe? I’m not convinced that they are this season.
“City worry me, and I wonder whether this is a crossroads for Guardiola. I hope not, he’s brought so much to the Premier League, but I expected to see them go again – and I’ve yet to be convinced that they will.”
Do you think City still have a shot at the title this season?
TIF Thoughts on John Cross’ comments regarding Manchester City…
From Cross’ comments, it is clear that the journalist has not been overly impressed with City’s additions in the summer transfer window, in addition to the fact that the team, in general, do not seem to have the same levels of fight and desire as they have had in previous seasons under Guardiola.
And, considering the rather shaky start City have got off to in the league this season, perhaps Cross has a point, although, there is still plenty of time in the season left in which Guardiola’s side could climb back up the Premier League table.