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Manchester City Need a Huge Shake-up

Manchester City’s season is in danger of ending in disaster as they lurch from one defeat to another, culminating in an embarrassing 4-2 defeat at the hands of their Manchester rivals United at the weekend. City have now lost four consecutive away league games and sit in fourth place, 12 points behind Chelsea on top but just four points ahead of Liverpool in fifth place.

The United game highlighted a number of issues with Pellegrini’s side that need addressing in the summer and at the same time cast doubt over the future of some of their star names. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Manchester City need a significant shake-up.

City were troubled throughout the derby game by United’s Belgian international Marouane Fellaini, who appears to have a new lease on life at Old Trafford after his career at the club looked to be petering out. Fellaini played in a position between City’s back four and midfield that gave their experienced players a constant headache throughout the game, and was a problem that could not be solved.

Apart from the first ten minutes of the match, when the visitors took an early lead, City could not control midfield and were devoid of a lot of possession in the attacking and central thirds especially. United were woken up by their opening goal, and from then on their game plan worked superbly.

Yaya Toure has come under attack for a lacklustre performance in midfield at Old Trafford. He looked lifeless and was unable to work from box to box, although he was also outnumbered. On a number of occasions Fellaini was allowed to run past him giving him access to City’s back-four. Whether that was Toure’s fault is up for debate, but surely a midfielder of Toure’s calibre should sense the danger that Fellaini posed, and surely City’s management should have countered this.

Once Fellaini had escaped Toure, City’s experienced back four should have decided how best to keep him under wraps. However, nobody took control. Vincent Kompany, before his early departure due to injury, looked a shadow of his former self. His replacement at the back Eliaquim Mangala has not settled into the City side yet, and Martin Demichelis fills neither fans nor pundits with confidence. The two centre-backs were marking Wayne Rooney, but neither was willing to come out and negate the Fellaini threat.

City have often relied on their big names, such as Toure and Kompany, to set the standard and guide the team through games. Now that these players are having off days, there should be more players who can stand up and be counted on. Against United there was no one.

Gael Clichy’s game was full of errors at left-back, while Jesus Navas has proven ineffectual on a number of occasions this season. James Milner, who is one player you can rely on to show passion and commitment, appears to be on his way out of the club – which is a strange decision, as it’s players with these attributes that City need.

The signing of Wilfried Bony has not been immediately successful but increasing City’s firepower, which is what Bony will do, is another area that City need to focus on. For much of the season City looked to be the only side who could challenge Chelsea for the title. Now, they look to be defending their title with a whimper, and look to have once again given United the upper hand in their bitter rivalry.

City were a dejected team as they trudged off the Old Trafford pitch, seemingly readying themselves for their summer holidays. However, their season is far from over and they will need to rally themselves to ensure they fight off the chasing pack and cling on to the fourth Champions League spot.

The summer will undoubtedly see them regroup with potentially a number of new signings and, who knows, maybe a new manager at the helm. They will not want to go another season without a trophy.

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