The torture was finally over last week when it was announced Pep Guardiola will succeed Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City manager at the end of the season.
The Citizens secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sunderland a day later, but after last weekend's 3-1 capitulation to surprise package Leicester City, questions will and have been asked about how they will respond to news that their manager's time at the Etihad is up.
Will City's players be utterly professional and strive for Premier League victory despite Pellegrini's imminent departure? Or will they slack off in the knowing the Chilean will not be there to inflict repurcussions this summer?
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Whether consciously or subconsciously, the latter appeared to happen at Manchester United during the first half of the 2001/02 season, when Sir Alex Ferguson declared he would be retiring at the end of that campaign.
The Red Devils had won the league title in the three seasons prior, but with the news that Ferguson would be gone by the summer, United endured their worst start since first winning the title under the Scot in 1993, losing six games from 15 and garnering only 21 points.
Ferguson said in his autobiography that ''when the team thought I would be leaving, they slackened off. There wasn't the same performance level on the pitch.
''It's human nature, in those circumstances, to relax a bit, and to say: 'I'm not going to be here next year'.''
And it seems you could apply the very same to City and Pellegrini, even despite the fact players should be wary of the fact their future manager will be watching and assessing who is or isn't pulling their weight.
Virtually every player in world football wants to play under Guardiola, so you would think that City's personnel will do everything in their power to impress and give themselves the best chance of remaining at the club by the time he arrives in Manchester.
City may have seen more possession against Claudio Ranieri's Foxes, but their weaknesses were exposed and Leicester duly capitalised, counter attacking with venom and terrorising the hosts' sloppy and lethargic defence.
Guardiola will undoubtedly have some big decisions to make upon his arrival, but City's players must show hunger and desire under Pellegrini until his departure, perhaps even by winning the Premier League title as a means of a send off for the Chilean.
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