Once again it seems that the team with the best defence will win the Premier League this season. This is why Man United currently sit top of the division, because of their impressive defensive record so far. There is no doubting that Man City started the season impressively themselves. However their glittering goal scoring displays have paved over some significant cracks in their defence.
Chelsea proved last season that if you have a solid defence then you have at least half a chance of success. Unfortunately for Mourinho his parked bus isn’t running as smoothly as it once did, and it seems John Terry is the chosen bus driver Mourinho has decided to blame.
Pellegrini’s City has so far avoided resorting to Mourinho’s defensive tactics, despite its success last season. The Sky Blues were the league’s top scorers in their last campaign, and the year before that. Therefore to spend so lavishly on more attacking talent like, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, seemed odd given City’s already exceptional array of talent in that area of the field.
The new boys have done well though, and City’s powerful attack looks hard to stop. Although their early season offensive prowess has been overshadowed by recent defeats to West Ham, Juventus and Tottenham respectively. Few would disagree that these are tough opponents, although the Citizens would have been confident given their supreme form.
Since Pellegrini took charge in 2013 he has brought in a big name central defender to partner club captain Vincent Kompany at the start of every season. This summer’s central defensive arrival was Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia, costing the club £32million.
It is too early to tell whether the Argentine will reverse the trend of expensive defensive flops for City. After Eliaquim Mangala’s unimpressive debut season last year, and three-year club veteran Martin Demichelis’ inconsistent form, how many times do City want to audition the role of centre back?
Over recent years it has almost become a problem position for City, since the departure of Joleon Lescott, the former Premier League champions have struggled to find a reliable partner to play alongside Kompany.
Not only this but the big spenders lack an equivalent to Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic in defensive midfield. Matic was seen as one of the main factors to Chelsea’s rock solid defence. This is another position Man City has dallied around with in the transfer market.
Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry and Javi Garcia have all come and gone, and the likes of Yaya Toure and Fernandinhio are thought to be too attack minded to reliable play the role.
So until Man City can find a solid centre back partnership like Ferdinand and Vidic, and a strong defensive midfielder like Claude Makelele, then City will continue to win trophies infrequently, instead of building a legacy of dependable success.