1. Some weekends in a season feel pivotal. The one we’ve just suffered certainly feels that way. A rotten defeat for City combined with unhelpful results elsewhere have cut us adrift once more, and a plausible route towards safety feels difficult to discern.
2. Leicester first, where City were dismayingly poor. We even led (with a fine counter-attacking goal), but offered alarmingly little afterwards and ended up being easily beaten by a side who could’ve been dragged into the mire with a better result. Fulham aside, it was comfortably the worst performance of Marco Silva’s time in charge.
3. Gone was the cohesion, spirit and purpose that have lit up Silva’s time in charge. Instead, City looked disorganised and dispirited and were cut open with embarrassing ease far too often. It’s hard to believe we’d beaten Liverpool and Manchester United just a few weeks ago.
4. Brickbats invariably fly about after a defeat like this, and while one tries not to overreact, plenty of them are meritted. Ahmed Elmohamady may not be a natural right-back (and his selection over Elabdellaoui looks a real rick by Silva), but that doesn’t disqualify him from doing his best. Increasingly, Elmohamady is a player trading on a reputation carved out a few years ago.
5. At least he wasn’t the wretchedly milquetoast Marković. Frustratingly, we’ve actually seen what he can do; but we’ve certainly seen what he sometimes can’t be arsed doing, which is pretty much anything. It’s mystifying to see a professional footballer not want to give his all in a game of football, and not doing so isn’t good enough.
6. Eldin Jakupović can’t escape scrutiny either. David Marshall would have been questioned for conceding either of Leicester first two (though Robertson hardly helped for the second), Jakupović merits at least a quizzical eyebrow for his contribution.
7. Silva has a week to do a lot of thinking about how to react. Damningly, we’ve led in games against both Burnley and Leicester in the past nine days, and collected just one point. Add five points onto our total, and we’d be odds-on to stay up. Hell, add even three and our prospects would be so much rosier. As it is, cheap concessions and the sort of crummy away defeat we’d be raging at Mike Phelan for have left us with a mountain to climb.
8. Well, the ascent begins on Saturday, with Swansea at home. If there really is to be a Great Escape for the Premier League era, it must surely include victory in this fixture. Such a win certainly won’t be engineered with the sort of limp display we endured at Leicester. If Silva was frustrated by losing at champions-elect Chelsea, he must be boiling at what we saw at the weekend. Channelling that frustration into a positive response will be an interesting test of the new City manager.
9. It’s March, and still nothing from City about their plans for season tickets/memberships/whatever next season, while clubs with proper owners are increasingly unveiling their plans for 2017/18. Vindictively removing concessions for various groups this season has probably set City back a few years; repeating this same malicious trick could extend the damage for a generation.
10. Let’s try to end on one positive: noted elsewhere, Sam Clucas has now scored in the Conference, League 2, League 1, Championship and Premier League in successive seasons, something that can’t have been done very often in English football. He was blameless at Leicester and has impressed all season. Well done that man.