W19, D9, L10 (50% win rate)
Amid a troubled season for the once-title favourites,de Bruyne, Fernandinho, Aguero, and Iheanacho have continued to show excellence. Aguero and de Bruyne have been the most obvious standouts, but special praise must be reserved for the Nigerian academy product Iheanacho, whose final tally as City’s joint-second goal-scorer is an impressive return from a season made primarily of substitute and second-string appearances.
A second League Cup in three years is never a bad thing, and the club’s first appearance in the Champion’s League semi-final shows progression from the consistent continental struggles of the side under Roberto Mancini.
With the arrival of Pep Guardiola, there are a few players whose poor campaign this season, along with other factors, looks set to see them heading out of Etihad exit door. Perhaps the most disappointing is Yaya Toure, who has completed a journey from being the side’s bulldozing heartbeat to his state now as a plodding liability in big games. Equally disappointing is his Ivorian teammate Bony, who has never looked so far away from his large price tag as he has at times this season. A couple of great performances – most notably his influential intervention in the home group game against Gladbach – cannot disguise a campaign defined by poor positional intelligence and a lethargic pressing game that looks truly doomed in the likely system of the incoming Catalonian.
They may have got their place in the top four, but it was after a domestic campaign riddled with rank, often inexcusable inconsistency. A single victory over the rest of the top eight, both home and away, stinks of a side either under-motivated or under-managed to cope in the big-game domestic environment. Their porous defence has also been a problem all campaign, with sides always likely to get a good chance and then continue to score once they initially breach it. Kompany or not, it is inexcusable for such a successful and (yes) expensive side to consistently look so shaky at the back.
Martin Demichelis’s turn of pace.
A new manager, a significant player turnover and a no-doubt massive transfer splurge looks likely during this summer. The numerous names linked will no doubt be replacements, not additions, to a side that has been due a renovation for several years. With much of the Mancini-era spine aging or leaving this summer, Pep’s arrival in England could yet be his biggest and hardest managerial challenge to date