Manchester City have been, and still are a powerhouse in the Premier League, however, performances within the Champions League over the last few years have been underwhelming. Manchester City won the Premier League last year by 19 points, breaking the 100 point barrier, however, despite this nearly faultless season their struggles in the Champions League continued and they are seeming to carry on this season.
The Blues have now qualified for the Champions League every season since the 2012-2013 season, their best finish has been the semi-finals in the 15/16 season, with this result they have also had; 1 group stage knockout, 3 round of 16 knockouts, and 1 quarterfinal knockout. These results have not impressed the fan base or other football fans throughout the world, however, it begs the question why do they struggle in European football?
The results can not fall upon the question of talent on their team, they are filled with more superstars than most teams in the world, many teams would love the ability to start players who come off their bench. So if the struggles do not come from the ability of the team could the question of their lack of success fall on the manager? From the 2012/13 season, the team has been led by 3 different managers? The 3 managers who have tried to bring home the much desired Champions League trophy have been Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini, and finally, the current manager and highly praised Pep Guardiola. The previous 2 managers of Manchester City lost their jobs for a few reasons, however, a large factor in both of them losing their jobs came down to the fact they had no European success. Pep has inspired the fanbase of Manchester City causing the crowds to crave European greatness more now than ever before, so even though their tough run in last years competition where they were eliminated in the quarter-final by Liverpool hopes are on this years cup run.
Unfortunately, this year’s results have not been the most inspiring as they opened up with a 2-1 loss to Lyon, followed by a very unconvincing 2-1 win over 1899 Hoffenheim, not the results fans are looking for. With an important game against Shakhtar Donetsk on October 23rd approaching Pep Guardiola and Manchester City need to bring their explosive play to Europes biggest competition, in the Premier League, their strike force is feared as they bring blistering speed with intricate passing as they also dominate possession. This seems to lack within the Champions League game with production being at a minimal level, and games coming down to the wire and being scrappy compared to their obvious dominance displayed in Premier league games.
The fire of Manchester City seems to dwindle in the Champions League fixtures, its this spark they are missing, the desire to bring their dominate play onto the European stage. With 4 games still remaining in this Champions League group stage, they still have plenty of time to improve their performances, this will be needed if they are wanting to advance into the later stages of the tournament and bring home the coveted trophy. If Manchester City plays with the desire and confidence which they do in England they can be a dominant force in Europe and flip their current luck in the Champions League.
From the world of sports, this is Sam Thornton Signing off