I made the point before City played United that regardless of the outcome it was only three points. That was true whether City lost or in that case won 6-1. It's still true and yet today's game against Spurs feels like more.
It shouldn't. It's still only three points, but every season there is normally a pivotal game for a side. One match that you can point to and say it helped to define the season. It can even be a loss as it was when City played United in the league cup a couple of seasons ago.
And my sense is that this is the one. As expected City have lost their early season momentum. That shouldn't be a surprise as Mancini's team were playing at an unsustainable level. It's unfortunate that the such a stumble should have occurred when there were crucial matches against United and Liverpool, but again January is usually the time when this occurs.
Regular readers know that I've been harping on the need for a world class defender to be added to the squad for a couple of years now. Unfortunately with Kompany and Toure out we've seen the result of the failure to do this. I don't think anyone is awed by a Lescott and Savic pairing.
And Spurs are a really good team. Their midfield may well be the best in the Premier League and in Bale, Modric and van der Vaart they have three of the top ten players currently playing in England. One player who has caught my eye though has been full back Kyle Walker. I think it is he, rather than Glen Johnson who I consider vastly over rated, that will keep Micah Richards out of the England squad in the near future.
Weakness in the centre of the defense, Yaya Toure unavailable, a very useful opponent and a dip in form all lead to today. Win and I think City go from strength to strength. Lose and this goes down to the wire and the last few games of the season, possibly the last when a certain Mark Hughes will return with his new QPR squad.