pep_guardiola_2015 Image: Football.ua

Doubts are just beginning to surface over the future of the man who was hailed as the greatest football coach in the world, at Manchester City, but maybe all the club needs to do is learn the lesson of the lean start-up.

This weekend Manchester City, a football club that a few weeks ago, was the favourite to clinch the English Premiership this season, was thrashed by Leicester City.

The club that won the Premiership last season may be a victim of one of the rules of behavioural economics, but the club many thought was going to win it, may need to think like an entrepreneurial company.

But first, let's take a gander at behavioural economics. In the long run, on average, we are average. The laws of large numbers suggest that occasionally someone or something will excel, but this is simply random. But silly old Homo sapiens, with no head for probability, see a pattern where there is coincidence.

We start drawing invalid conclusions, and then at some point the laws of large numbers exert themselves, and exceptional performance turns to below average performance, they call it regression to the mean, and maybe that is what has happened to Leicester City this year.

Except that this Saturday, Leicester was like the team of the 2015/16 season, full of fire and a partying center forward.

But Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola, are simply doing okay. Sure, they sit at fourth place in the Premiership, but given their players and the money they have been spending, they should be doing better. Recent results have been awful; it was bad enough being taught a football lesson by Chelsea recently, but the thrashing by Leicester was just embarrassing.

Yet Pep Guardiola is the man who not only created the greatest club side ever in the Barcelona of a few years ago, he then created a team in Bayern Munich who were almost as good. He certainly created a thrilling style of play. The beautiful game looks beautiful under Pep Guardiola.

Maybe the Premiership is not the place, maybe Mr Guardiola himself has been struck by regression to the mean.

Here is an alternative idea. He just needs to be given time, freedom to experiment, and the freedom to fail.

His idea of playing three defenders is radical in the Premiership. The league is clearly more competitive than any other top flight league in the world, but if Barcelona can constantly beat the best the Premiership has to offer, year in year out in the Champions League, why can't a Barcelonaesque team, with the resources to create a squad of quality, do the same thing week in week out in the Premiership?

Pep Guardiola needs to try ideas, try one formation for a few weeks, then another. He needs to give his players freedom to experiment. But he surely knows this already. This means many failures en route, and the impatience of fans and the money may not support it, but if he can, then the city of Manchester could create the greatest English football team ever, and that is surely a prize worth winning.

And that is the lesson of the lean start up applied to the beautiful game.