After watching Manchester City quite literally dismantle Newcastle United in devastating fashion a week ago, they looked like a side who had the capability to go on and win the Premier League this season.
Don't get me wrong I still think they will but they must sign a top-class centre-half, as without Vincent Kompany in defence they will struggle, demonstrated in their shock 3-2 defeat to Cardiff City yesterday.
Kompany came off injured during the comprehensive victory at home to Newcastle, which could rule him out for up to three weeks, and without him yesterday they looked weak, lethargic and defensively a long way short of the back four which played against Newcastle.
This despite all but one of the back four that featured against Newcastle starting in the game against Cardiff. This underlines the huge loss Kompany is to the City team when he is unavailable, with the usually reliable Pablo Zabaleta putting in a poor performance along with Joleon Lescott and Gael Clichy.
To add to that Joe Hart was unimpressive in the City goal, as he was at fault for at least one, and questionably two of Cardiff's goals.
The writing was on the wall before kick-off when a make-shift centre-half pairing of Lescott and Javi Garcia lined-up at the Cardiff City stadium, the last time they played together City lost away at Southampton 3-1 in February of this year.
But City shouldn't have to rely on a midfield player to fill it at centre-back as that is not his ideal position.
It is worth noting that Matija Nastasić, who formed a formidable partnership with Kompany last season, has been out injured, but considering all the money they have spent and taking injuries into account, surely they would have signed another defender by now.
This is especially the case after letting the experienced Kolo Toure join Liverpool on a free transfer, and with players like Lescott in the team I am not convinced City would go on and win the league, as I believe he is not a player of the necessary pedigree for a title-chasing team.
According to reports City have had two bid rejected for Pepe, and if I were City I would table a third bid which may tempt the Spanish side to part company with the combative no-nonsense defender - he could be exactly what they need.
Manuel Pellegrini looks like he knows what he's doing and despite this setback I am still backing him to deliver the goods and bring the title back to the blue side of Manchester this season.
But he won't be able to do that without Kompany, so he must pray the City captain can be a virtual ever-present this season when he returns from his latest injury.
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