The Manchester City captains stepped in and called a players meeting when the champions were in the midst of a slump during November/December it has been revealed.
While the champions weren’t necessarily playing badly they were throwing away winning positions. Draws against Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Crystal Palace saw the champions throw away points to late goals. A 1-nil to defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park during the poor run of results saw them fall to fourth on the Premier League table. It was an uncharacteristic run from Pep Guardiola’s side and the City captains stepped in to steady the ship.
In an interview with Simon Bajkowski published by Manchester Evening News City defender Nathan Ake revealed the meeting. He said while it wasn’t an angry affair it forced the players to take responsibility to correct their mistakes. He said: “We had a big get-together organised by the captains and we had a good talk with each other. Not to hammer each other but to be honest that everyone has to look at themselves to see what we can do better because this is not what we want.”
Ake went into further detail adding: “We talked with each other about it to try to understand and make sure everyone was on the same page. That we don’t just play the victim card of deflections or a difficult moment. Everyone was allowed to say whatever they wanted and we picked it up.”
The Manchester City captains calling a meeting during their slump shows their elite mentality. It’s this drive coupled with Pep Guardiola’s standards that fuels the world champions. While talent plays a huge part the drive and mentality of the City squad is often overlooked. It’s these factors that have been key to the club’s success in recent seasons.
The fact that the leaders were also aware of the need to step in also highlights the fortitude of Manchester City’s leadership group. Rather than sit back and hope their luck turned they were proactive in making a change.
Manchester City will be hoping to continue their winning run against Newcastle United this weekend. City have won their last 5 games in all competitions and will be hoping to extend their winning run at St. James Park.