Hart, Kompany & more: How Man City's champions have faded behind United
2. David Silva
Manchester City scored 93 goals on their way to the title last season. The reigning champions have notched just 48 goals in 26 league outings this term.
It is a fair assessment of Silva's season, or even previous 12 months, that he has not lived up to his opening period in English football. The 27-year-old provided a stunning 15 assists last term while, with less than half of 2012-13 remaining, he can boast just five.
Indeed, against Southampton, Silva successfully completed just one of eight attempted crosses and created just one goalscoring opportunity against a promoted side.
Again using the 3-2 win against QPR at the end of last season as an example due to the Rs' status as a newly promoted side last term, Silva attempted 89 passes during the title-clinching victory. He attempted just 44 against Southampton, less than half.
This suggests a reluctance on the Spaniard's behalf, or perhaps an eagerness to retain possession and therefore attempting fewer high-risk ventures forward. As a team, City completed just 63 per cent of their attempted passes in the final third, with Silva the instigator of many, as time and time again Roberto Mancini's men lost momentum at crucial times.