Pep Guardiola must begin thinking about rebuilding his Manchester City squad after a stuttering start to the Premier League season.
That is the opinion of former Arsenal defender and BBC pundit Martin Keown.
City are known for their quick tempo, electrifying attack and frightening forwards – especially under Guardiola.
But that fear factor has been missing in recent weeks after a shoddy start to the season.
Injuries to key players have not helped but that has only made it more clear to Guardiola that he must start thinking about rebuilding the squad.
That is what Keown thinks, who was talking after City dropped points once again this weekend – this time to West Ham in a 1-1 draw.
“They’ve had so many injuries,” the former England defender said.
“Since they went out of the Champions League quarter-finals [against Lyon], they’ve struggled.
“It’s going to be very important for Sergio Aguero to stay fit. Pep Guardiola wants to play expansive football but this is not the same silky City we’ve seen in the past where they were breaking records left right and centre.”
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Sergio Aguero, who has just returned from injury, was forced off at half-time with another fitness problem to give Guardiola more issues.
With the Argentine facing another spell on the sidelines, it could be argued that City have lost their spine in the form of Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Aguero and Fernandinho – who is also out injured for a duration of time.
While Guardiola may have found his answer in defence after the signings of Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake, his attack has looked blunted at times.
City are 12th in the table and have scored just eight times in five Premier League games.
Keown added: “They’re not far from greatness, but there’s certainly some work to be done.
“We will see how good Pep really is now; he’s got to rebuild the team.”
Guardiola addressed some of the problems after City’s draw against the Hammers on Saturday afternoon when asked about his team’s stuttering start to the season.
“Many injuries, a lack of preparation, no recovery time, and tough games we’ve played so far,” he said.
“I’m not a guy who can predict the future. We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot.
“But we’ve struggled a lot for many reasons. We have to take things game by game and see what happens.”