After yet another horrific loss for the blue side of Manchester, supporters and pundits alike are starting to have real doubts about the future of Manchester City.
The team is currently in the middle of their worst run since late 2009, a run that led to club owner Sheikh Mansour, and club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak taking drastic measures; firing manager Mark Hughes and bringing in Roberto Mancini.
The issue runs deeper this time around; manager Manuel Pellegrini currently seems incapable of turning around City's current form. It is also starting to look like he may have lost the dressing room, as there appears to be a lack of passion from City's players, especially when they fall behind in matches.
The other issue City must look at, in order to bounce back next season, is whether or not Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, and club CEO Ferran Soriano are the right fit for the club. Since coming over together from Barcelona, they have attempted to recreate what they achieved at the Camp Nou, and have been largely unsuccessful.
No players have been promoted from City's hugely talented EDS squad to become regular first-team starters, and their player recruitment has been poor. Since joining the club in 2012, the pair have brought in Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo, Fernandinho, Martin Demichelis, Willy Caballero, Fernando Reges, Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony.
Of all of these players, only Navas, Fernandinho and Demichelis have managed to cement first team positions, and none of these players are of the quality that was brought in under previous Director Garry Cook, who's signings included world class talents such as Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and David Silva, amongst others.
Paying the price
This, along with a desperate need for younger players, is part of the reason City are now seeing such a rapid decline. Begiristain and Sorriano have not been able to keep up the quality of signings that Cook managed.
It's now looking like the club are paying for both the lack of top quality signings (despite shelling out £170 million in transfers since Manuel Pellegrini's arrival at the club) and for failing to bring in younger players from the EDS squad. The only way to fix the issue may well be for the club to let go of not just of Pellegrini, but also their Director of Football and CEO.