According to a special report by Jack Gaughan of the Mail, doubts around the future of Pep Guardiola did arise earlier in the season - where is Manchester City side sunk as low as 11th in the Premier League table.
With the delayed end to last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic - combined with next to no rest in the summer - the manager was expecting a slow start to the current campaign, but perhaps not as slow as it turned out.
The 5-2 loss at home to Leicester is said to be a particularly low point. It was only the second game of the season, but the manner of the defeat had left the dressing room floored and shocked.
It was seemingly the arrival of Ruben Dias who changed that. Since making his debut against Leeds United in a 1-1 draw, Manchester City's defence has been rock solid - only conceding 19 goals in the next 32 league games.
Despite his obvious impact, Manchester City still struggled to maintain the positive results that would push them up the table.
A loss to Tottenham Hotspur and a drab 1-1 draw at home to West Brom was enough to trigger major changes. That night, Pep Guardiola had privately told the players, "This isn’t us, I’m not proud!"
The report claims that intense talks were also held between the manager, Directer of Football Txiki Begiristain, and close friend and colleague Manuel Estiarte, about what needed to change to turn Manchester City's season around.
Captain Fernandinho was vital too, organising what he called 'an emergency meeting' to remind the players of what it means to play for Manchester City and called for an immediate switch in attitude.
"On New Year’s Eve we had this training session," Fernandinho said as relayed by the Daily Mail. "It was not good. The body language, the effort from some players, it was obvious. Misplaced passes, players not tracking back, not running, not looking interested."
"Our next game was at Chelsea, who were flying. Beforehand, I thought to myself, 'If these guys don’t run here, that’s it, I’m done'. I was ready to lose all morale."
Manchester City provided a thrilling performance at Stamford Bridge, winning 3-1, and since then have put themselves just three points away from a fifth Premier League title and reaching their first ever Champions League final.
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