Why Do City Struggle So Much In Europe?
Manchester City once again struggled in the Champions League last night after their 1-1 draw with Roma at the Etihad.
It wasn’t a bad performance from City but it’s just another bad result which means they now must win all their remaining games you have to feel to stand any chance of qualifying.
Let’s not take anything away from Roma, they put on a blinding performance and even perhaps could have nicked it but a draw was a fair result.
City have only qualified once through to the last 16 of the Champions League where they were knocked out by Barcelona last season.
Prior to that they hadn’t got out the group stage the two seasons before that.
So why is such a talented team struggling so much in Europe?
It’s hard to really pin-point the problem. In this first couple years of qualifying you had the argument that they were inexperienced as a team in Europe and that they would only improve. Granted they have improved but with the players they have, they should be sweeping teams aside.
Aguero, Toure, Silva and Kompany are four of the best players in the world so there are no excuses in terms of quality within the squad.
I’m going to throw City an excuse and just say they have been purely unlucky with their group draws. The first year they entered the Champions League their group contained Napoli, Bayern and Villareal which are four tough teams to play, especially away from home.
It was a similar story next season with Real Madrid, Ajax and Dortmund all in the same group as City. Tough, tough teams to play against so understandable if City would struggle as Dortmund and Madrid were arguably in their peak at the time.
The one season they did qualify the draw was relatively kind to them. Bayern were the only real tough draw alongside CSKA Moscow and Plzen.
A group of death awaited them this season with Roma, Bayern and CSKA, three teams who will definitely not be pushovers as was proven last night.
The problem with playing these big teams is that they will up their game against City. They see the players they have and will want to show the world they can beat a team of superstars.
So why can’t City think like this?
The players City have are world-beaters but I genuinely think it’s a lack of confidence in Europe. They do put in good performances in all these games and were extremely unlucky to lose against Bayern a couple weeks back.
By putting in these good performances and still getting nothing from the game it will only knock a team’s confidence right down.
And when they did do well a couple of years back, they are handed a daunting tie against Barcelona who were very strong at the time.
All it will take is a good run in Europe for City to become the dominant team in Europe they should be. It is purely a lack of confidence and a mindset issue when it comes to European football.
City also need to learn to not let teams play against them and up their game like all teams do against City, which is exactly what they let Roma do last night.