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Former Man City defender Nedum Onuoha says the club do not need a ‘complete redesign’ following the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side had a chance to get their title charge back on track after leaders Arsenal lost at Everton on Saturday, but their failures at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were once again on show.
City have now played five matches in Spurs’ new home, losing all five, and failing to score a single goal in that time.
Man City do not need ‘complete redesign’
Despite Sunday’s struggles – which involved striker Erling Haaland failing to have a single shot on goal – ex-Man City defender Onuoha believes his old club do not need to take drastic measures to keep their title hopes alive.
Arsenal are currently five points clear at the top and have a game in hand over Guardiola’s side. The two clubs go head to head at the Emirates next Wednesday, in a game that may just decide the title.
“Manchester City’s defeat at Tottenham Hotspur was a disappointing result for Pep Guardiola’s side but I don’t think it means the defending champions need a complete redesign,” said Onuoha, as per BBC Sport.
“City have not played as well this season as they have done in previous campaigns under Guardiola, but you have to remember they had reached a level of near perfection for most of that time.
“Along with Liverpool they were hitting 90-plus points in a season, which set an almost unrealistic standard about what is needed to compete for the title.
“Now? Most of City’s squad are not playing at their best and as a team they definitely look more human but, unlike Jurgen Klopp’s side, they are still finding a way to be competitive at the top of the table.”
Man City can win despite ‘not playing well’
Onuoha – who made over 100 appearances for Man City between 2004 and 2012 – added that Guardiola’s men still have the ability to win games despite not being at their best.
It has been a somewhat underwhelming title defence from the champions, with Man City winning just 14 of their 21 Premier League matches this season. They’ve drawn three of those and lost the other four.
And while they are the top-scoring side with 53 goals, eight ahead of the Gunners, there have been too many defensive issues, with their 21 goals conceded much worse than both Arsenal (17) and Newcastle (12).
But according to Onuoha, there is still a chance for his former club to overtake Mikel Arteta’s men at the top of the Premier League table.
“In past seasons, before you needed to be absolutely flawless to win the league, I would look at how title races were decided and say that part of what champions are made of is being a side who can find a way to win even when they are not playing well,” added Onuoha.
“I’d argue City have still managed to do that to a certain extent this season, which is why they are just about afloat and still have a chance to defend their title, even if that looks like a difficult task from here.”
A tough one to take.
Thank you to all of our travelling fans for your brilliant support, as always 💙
⚪️ 1-0 ⚫️ #ManCity pic.twitter.com/NmfLso2LXK
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 5, 2023