Man City are displaying all the hallmarks of Guardiola-fatigue
Their season is heading for an anti-climax
Manchester City have dominated the season, but in recent weeks the wheels of the Pep Guardiola machine have come a little loose.
First Liverpool tore the Citizens apart in last week’s Champions League, before Manchester United produced a second-half master class to land a sensational derby victory.
The former result has left City requiring a monumental performance to continue their European aspirations, while the latter royally put the blockers on the Blues’ Premier League party.
But history shows this current City crop are showing all the effects of Guardiola’s Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams – fatigue.
Pep’s first season as a senior manager was in 2008-09. His Barcelona side won 19 of their first 21 La Liga matches, losing just once.
But in their final 17 games, Barca showed a significant drop, and won only eight, losing four.
It was a similar tale in 2010-11.
After once again roaring through La Liga with 27 wins from their first 31 games, Pep’s men won only three of their final seven matches.
More at Munich
The trend for a spring slip continued at Bayern Munich.
The Bundesliga kingpins were unbeaten for their first 27 matches of the 2013-14 campaign, before suffering a three-game winless run across March and April.
It was at that time they crashed out of the Champions League too.
A year later and Bayern lost three of their final four matches, having started with an 18-game unbeaten run.
Their Champions League run again suffered too at the same time, losing heavily in away trips to Porto and Barcelona.
Results show that fatigue may have crept in during the 2015-16 season too. The only time Bayern failed to win two league games in a row came in March.
Then in Europe they only just crept past a Benfica side in the April, before losing to Atletico Madrid in the semi-final stage.
What next for City?
Back to City then, and after enduring a bruising couple of matches, Pep’s current crop will have to show what they’re made of in the next few days.
First they have to muster a comeback against Liverpool, before they head to Wembley to play Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
If City really are worn out, then Liverpool and Spurs will punish them, and their season which promised so much could peter out into a sizeable anti-climax.
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