To win titles in the Premier League, you need a complete squad.
You need a group of players that want to play for each other, a team full of quality from top to bottom and a gritty determination that despite some results not going your way, things can always be turned around again.
Unfortunately for Manchester City and boss Pep Guardiola, there is a real imbalance on the City books right now and it’s coming from the very first person on the team-sheet.
We all know it’s been a pretty turbulent summer for Joe Hart. He had a pretty poor Euro 2016 with England, which saw them knocked out by Iceland, before returning to club football to find himself third choice behind Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero. It’s been a remarkable couple of months but with his form poor and change at the Etihad, you’d be hard pressed to find many City fans who felt Hart was in good form.
So with the England number one now at Torino for the remainder of the campaign, who is next to take command of the goalkeeping jersey? Well by the looks of things, it’s certainly not Claudio Bravo, who had a debut to forget, despite a City win at Old Trafford this weekend.
The former Barcelona man, who linked back up with Pep Guardiola this summer looked extremely shaky on his Premier League debut and he was heckled constantly by the United fans who can tell he is a weak link.
It comes as a blow to Guardiola, who seems to have shifted out a real fan favourite and replaced him with a player who hasn’t inspired much confidence based on his opening performance. He was all at sea for Ibrahimovic’s goal and looked completely incapable of keeping anything between his gloves for the remainder of the game.
Now to senior option number three- Willy Caballero. He’s a decent keeper but he doesn’t seem like he’s going to be the man who is going to lead City to the Premier League title. He’s another shaky keeper who doesn’t inspire that much confidence and the City fans weren’t overwhelmed when he started the cup final ahead of Joe Hart under Pellegrini.
It’s a problem that will be easily solved if Claudio Bravo can inspire a bit of confidence from the Etihad supporters. But even at Barcelona, he was known for his gaffes and inability to defend his goal with serious confidence and guile.
Yes, he’s that footballer that Pep was screaming out for but the situation is this- goalkeepers are there to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Was Hart decent at that? Yes, he was.
There is no easy way to solve this problem for City and for manager Pep Guardiola, it could prove to be his downfall.
Four wins out of four paints a different picture but this could be a real crisis bubbling under the surface in the Blue side of Manchester.