By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Pep Guardiola enjoyed a dazzling start to his reign as Manchester City manager, so much so that after six successive Premier League wins some were suggesting the only real fight this season would be for runners-up spot. A few weeks later his side are still top of the table but the early euphoria has been replaced by the cold chill of reality as the dark winter months loom. First there was a 3-3 draw at Celtic in the Champions League and a few days later the wheels came off City's bandwagon when they were outplayed in a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly hoping to sign a new right-back in January with AS Monaco star Fabinho top of his wish list followed by Everton's Seamus Coleman. According to ESPN FC's Miguel Delaney, Mourinho has made reinforcing the position a priority and is hoping to add further pace to his side. Antonio Valencia has filled in there admirably but is little more than a temporary solution, while Matteo Darmian looks to have no future at the club under the Special One. The Italian made just his second appearance of the season on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League win over Fenerbahce, and the rusty full-back's lack of pace was noticeable, as Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is hoping his decision to drop Ross Barkley against Manchester City last weekend will act as "a wake-up call" for the England international. The 22-year-old has been a regular for Everton in recent seasons, but Koeman, who took over from the sacked Roberto Martinez in June, wants more from his attacking midfield star. Barkley was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium, and the Dutch coach insisted the promising youngster "needs to improve".