Manchester City are a cash-rich club that entered the Premier League season with title hopes, but it appears there are a few things that money can't buy.
Back in October, City were five points clear of Manchester United, and had given the Red Devils a 6-1 thumping at Old Trafford. While all looked bright for the Citizens, things started to sour.
As the season continued, United never let City get away from them and eventually that five-point gap became non-existent.
Things were suddenly level-pegging, and this is when City started making mistakes. Many pundits commented on how well Roberto Mancini dealt with the Carlos Tevez incident, but perhaps he could have dealt with it better.
Mancini could have made the issue far less public by punishing Tevez behind closed doors and not allowing it to become a distraction. It remained a hot topic for a majority of the season, with Mancini commenting that the Argentine would "never play for the club again." Tevez, however, found his way back onto the City squad.
Because such a big issue was made of the incident, Mancini's selection is under criticism from the media and fans, since many have differing views on whether Tevez should be in the line-up. This pressure is particularly distressing as City attempt to win a title in a race against their local rival.
Imagine if Sir Alex Ferguson had such an issue. If he were as angry as Mancini was about Tevez's situation, he would have simply cast off the forward without much debate.
Another error that might come back to haunt City is the mind games with United. Ferguson is the master of such banter and it is virtually impossible to outwit him in this department.
Patrick Vieira took it upon himself to describe Paul Scholes's return as a "sign of weakness." United have dropped just two points since the ginger genius took to the field again and his performance against Queens Park Rangers was virtually flawless.
Ferguson took his opportunity to bite back, comparing Scholes's comeback to City bringing Tevez back.
Which one looks like a sign of weakness now?
City have also had to deal with concern over contentious forward Mario Balotelli. There is no doubt that Balotelli's talent can win a club games, but it is also clear that his attitude and his temperament can cost a club victories.
Mancini took the gamble of bringing Balotelli to the club and believed he could tame him, but the youngster appears to have become yet another distraction for City. Balotelli continues to make headline for the wrong reasons. He has become a liability with his harsh fouls and antics.
To win a league title you often need consistent performers. United's Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Scholes are prime examples of players who give solid efforts on a regular basis. Balotelli, meanwhile, has maintained an erratic style all season. Mancini's inability to keep Balotelli from losing his cool may cost the Citizens a title.
Yet, there is one overriding issue plaguing City that has nothing to do with distractions: their inability to maintain quality form. Watching City face Arsenal on Apr. 8 at Emirates Stadium perhaps summed up their change in approach, and demise in confidence.
In a game they really needed to win, City barely threatened Arsenal. It was a lackluster effort by 11 world-class players who exhibited little urgency or enthusiasm. Admittedly, the Gunners played well, but City's performance was not the caliber of an elite club attempting to win a league title.
United, on the other hand, have shown composure and self-confidence, just as one would expect. The Red Devils know how to win titles and that mentality runs through the team.
Even in matches where they don't look sharp, United find a way to fight back. A recent match against Blackburn was a good example of this. It took them more then 80 minutes to break the dead-lock against Steve Kean's struggling side, but the Red Devils never once panicked and eventually scored two goals to win the game.
Ferguson's squad have again proved they know how to continue a strong run to close out a season. They focus on what they need to do; win games and rack up the points, and then watch as their challengers crumble.
Unfortunately for City, they've shown signs of crumbing despite the concerns of a late-season breakdown being addressed at the start of the season.
Even with a big-spending owner, City still have a lot of work to do.