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Man City crisis…what crisis?

AdebayorEmmanuel Adebayor has moved to quell suggestions that Manchester City are in a crisis as a result of six straight league draws. He has stated that all big clubs experience a similar blip during the season and that it is the players’ response to the setbacks that is important. He does have a point, six straight draws is not the end of the world, it’s certainly better than six straight defeats, and City haven’t been beaten since the Manchester derby. But Mark Hughes will still be concerned by his side’s inability to grind out results.

The worrying thing for Manchester City is the fact that this run of form has come so early in the season, and the manner in which the results have come about is also a cause for concern. Liverpool endured a similar run at a later stage last season and recovered after a barnstorming end to the season to finish second. Manchester City’s ambition is slightly lower, but they cannot afford to drop cheap points so early in the season. It will give them too much to do in the spring if they are playing catch-up in the race for fourth.

What will really disappoint Mark Hughes is that points have been dropped against sides that he will have not only hoped, but expected his side to beat. The away fixture at Birmingham and the home ties against Fulham and Burnley would have been viewed as opportunities to build on their strong start to the season. They now face difficult fixtures against Chelsea and Tottenham with added pressure to pick up points. The game against Tottenham is of greater significance as they come up against one of their key rivals for the fourth Champions League place; it is a fixture that City cannot afford to lose.

In addition to the disappointing results, City’s performances have also been lacking. The manner in which they have let winning positions slip against Liverpool, Burnley and Fulham is unacceptable. Key players have not been performing as they should; Gareth Barry has yet to reach anything like his peak form, while Adebayor’s goal at Anfield masked the fact that he was completely anonymous for the rest of the game. Hughes has yet to find the right balance to his side; they started the game at Anfield looking solid defensively and impotent going forward; but as soon as they started to attack Liverpool, City looked vulnerable at the back.

City’s loss of form is not yet a huge problem, but they will be disappointed that they have been unable to take advantage of Liverpool’s poor form; Benitez’s men are still within touching distance of fourth spot. City’s run of draws can also be juxtaposed with Tottenham’s results’; Spurs have collected twelve points from their last six games, despite losing twice in that period. It is not yet time to panic at Eastlands, but the last six games will be looked at as a missed opportunity if they fail to achieve their target of finishing fourth at the end of the season.

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Article title: Man City crisis…what crisis?

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