Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola faced plenty of criticism at the end of the 2019-20 season. That was because the Sky Blues barely managed to compete with Liverpool for the Premier League title, finishing with 81 points, which was just three points more than what they garnered in their worst finish under the Spaniard (2016-17).
City's misery was further compounded by their quarterfinal exit in the UEFA Champions League where they suffered a 1-3 humbling at the hands of Lyon.
Despite the money spent on expensive acquisitions under Guardiola, Manchester City have repeatedly failed to conquer the Champions League as the Spanish tactician tends to overthink his lineup. Following their latest heartbreak in the competition, the brickbats soon followed after an FA Cup semifinal loss to eventual winners Arsenal as it meant that the League Cup was the only domestic trophy Manchester City won last season.
Financial unfair play by Manchester City?
It could have been worse for Manchester City as UEFA handed them a ban for the 2020-21 edition of the Champions League for allegedly breaking financial fair play rules. But the club received a massive repreive when a CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) ruling overturned that decision which drew plenty of consternation.
Many expect Manchester City to spend big in the transfer market yet again as they seek to reinforce their squad. A blockbuster move for Lionel Messi came unstuck as the Argentinian superstar confirmed that he would stay with Barcelona for the final season of his contract, although there is still a possibility that the Spanish giants may consider jettisoning the player in January.
The Cityzens have been relatively quiet in the transfer market when compared with some of their domestic rivals. Manchester City have brought in Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres for a combined fee of £71m. A move for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly is on the cards as Manchester City seek to reinforce their backline that was hit hard by injuries to key players last season.
With David Silva departing the club to enjoy a final Spanish summer with Real Sociedad, there are opportunities for Manchester City's stacked midfield to play a greater role.
Manchester City's possible lineup in the 2020-21 season:
Here's how the Cityzens could line up in the 2020-21 season as they look to end their European hoodoo and also wrest the Premier League title back from Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola has no major headaches when it comes to the goalkeeping position as Ederson is pretty much the best option he has. The Brazilian is one of the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League and arguably amongst the top five in world football.
There were signs that Ederson wasn't at his best during the 2019-20 campaign as the Brazilian made a couple of high-profile, but rare, errors. However, that comes with the territory of what Guardiola demands from his goalkeepers.
Manchester City are likely to have a settled backline ahead of Ederson this season, and the Brazilian may very well get back to his best.
Blessed with excellent ball-distribution skills, which is arguably the best in world football, Ederson has very few weaknesses, if any. His shot-stopping prowess and impressive command of his area make him a nailed-on starter.
However, Manchester City are a bit thin when it comes to backup for their number one as Claudio Bravo has left the club and Scott Carson hardly generates much faith. That means if Manchester City are to win any silverware this season, Ederson's fitness will be of paramount importance.