In the second part of this series we look at reigning champions Manchester City who currently occupy 2nd place.
If you could accuse any team of inconsistency this season its Manchester City.
In the league and in every cup competition results have left fans scratching their heads.
They currently sit seven points back from leaders Chelsea in the league.
They are out of both the F.A. and League cups and fortunate to be in the knockout stages of the Champions’ League.
There they face the daunting task of a resurgent Barcelona team with Lionel Messi in devastating form.
With the high standards expected at this club, manager Manuel Pellegrini must be wondering what an empty trophy cabinet at the end of the season would mean for his future.
On their good days Manchester City are scary. Fast, physical, technical and with a good mentality and belief in their play.
Unfortunately they have very few of these days without Yaya Toure.
There is quality in every part of the City team but few sides in the league miss one player like Manchester City miss Yaya Toure.
His talent, drive, physicality and diversity are matched by few players in the league and it’s hard to think of one with all of them in such high stock.
In early December Manchester City were eight points behind in the league.
They then lost Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic in quick succession.
18-year-old Jose Pozo was drafted in as city’s last fit striker but then quickly dropped.
Many thought this may spell the end of the title race before Christmas with Chelsea in such ominous form.
However City did not capitulate in this period.
With great performances from Yaya Toure, David Silva and James Milner, in an arguably more effective 4-5-1 formation, they actually regained all the lost ground and for a short moment during the Chelsea versus Tottenham game on January 1st were back on top.
Then Yaya Toure left for the Africa Cup of Nations and, with one win in five games since his departure, they once again find themselves seven points behind and with another mountain to climb.
Manchester City are not out of the title race yet, nothing is decided at this stage of the season, but catching Mourinho will be a difficult task.
Champion’s league progression and whether or not they can push Chelsea until the end of the season may well decide how long Pellegrini’s tenure is in Manchester.
And with the talismanic Yaya Toure’s future far from clear, there could be a lot of change at Manchester city next season.