City start to wobble as United, Spurs and Liverpool sniff blood
Are City about to 'do an Arsenal' and blow their season after one win in five?
ARE Manchester City the new Arsenal? Roberto Mancini is faced with the worrying prospect that his team's season could be about to unravel spectacularly at the start of 2012. In recent years the Gunners have made a habit of looking good until Christmas and then throwing it all away in the new year, and City are threatening to follow suit.
As the Citizens were labouring to defeat against Liverpool in the Carling Cup semi final at the Etihad Stadium, Spurs were upping the ante in the Premier League title race with a win over Everton that moves them to within three points of the leaders.
City have now lost three of their last four games, and have won only once in their last five outings. They have been dumped out of the FA Cup, mugged at home in the Carling Cup and now have two teams breathing down their necks in the Premier League.
To make matters worse Roberto Mancini is now facing what The Daily Telegraph describes as "the perfect storm... a combination of injury, suspension and Africa Cup of Nations duty."
City's inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany (above) has been banned for four matches after his controversial sending off against local rivals United in the FA Cup, Yaya and Kolo Toure are away representing Ivory Coast and midfielder David Silva is out injured, while other members of the squad are only now returning after a spell on the sidelines.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp summed up the situation after his side went level on points with Manchester United on Wednesday night. "I think the pressure's on Man City," he said. And City are now easing comfortably into the role of the big name club in crisis.
The two sides come face to face a week on Sunday at the Etihad and a Spurs win, or even a draw, would blow the title race wide open. It is not beyond the realms of possibility as Tottenham continue to dumdfound their critics and prove beyond doubt that they deserve to be where they are in the table.
What looked like a one horse title race has become just that and City's other potential sources of silverware are drying up rapidly.