Exactly around this time last year, Manchester City were on top of the world having won the Premier League after a staggering 44 year wait.
Great results left the morale at an all-time high. Pundits truly believed that there was a revolution coming.
The 2012/13 season began with City lifting the Community Shield after a 3-2 victory over Chelsea signalling their intent for the rest of the season. This was followed by a series of impressive performances in the Premier League.
Their confidence must have surely taken a hit once the draw for the Champions League group stage was made in August. Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Manchester City. The group of champions and the group of death. Yet, City continued on a high note.
Their first real hiccup arrived in late September when a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa meant an early exit from the Capitol One Cup. But they kept faith. At the time, City found themselves only 3 points adrift the pole position which was then occupied by their local neighbours Manchester United.
Two weeks later, a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund not only meant that City were knocked out of the Champions League, but also that they failed to qualify for the Europa League. They experienced, what one might call, a double whammy.
With only the Premier League and FA Cup titles in sight, the team strode forward. But with rivals Manchester United running away with their 20th league title and a 1-0 defeat to the under dogs Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final at Wembley, their season was all but miserable.
City’s poor form has been underlined by the fact that their top players failed to produce as compared to last season.
Samir Nasri has had a season to forget as the attacking midfielder’s inconsistent performances were met with harsh criticism not only by the pundits, but also by Mancini! Midfielder Gareth Barry was often overlooked by the manager and failed to make an impact throughout the season with only one goal and two assists to his name. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was David Silva. The Spaniard has scored only five goals and made 11 assists this season and has failed to deliver on the big stage.
To add to their misery, manager Roberto Mancini was sacked a year to the day since winning the Premier League. The club stated: “He had failed to achieve any of the club’s targets this season except qualifying for Champions League next year.”
In a recent interview, Vincent Kompany highlighted “over-confidence” as the key factor that pulled the club down, but vowed to come back stronger than ever next season.
City might have failed to find the best in them this season. How would they fare in the next? Only time will tell.
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