Saturday's embarrassing deconstruction by Leicester City was the first time a Pep Guardiola side has ever conceded three or more goals in consecutive fixtures. More damning yet the defeat means Manchester City have now won just four of their last 15 games.
It is a legitimate hope then that the Spanish grandmaster will take stock of the sharp decline in performances and application since City raced from the blocks in the early weeks of the season. So calamitous was the defending at the King Power Stadium surely a compromise is now required or at the very least a pause for breath on the breathless changes he is implementing with players who are presently fish out of water.
Maybe take one step back to stylishly stroll two forward? Maybe stop making so many sweeping changes to the line-up each and every week to allow a core of players to assimilate an alien and complex blueprint? Maybe cease employing an under-fire young defender in John Stones alongside two full-backs in a misshapen, uncertain back three? Maybe give a training session over to tackling?
Such hopes are utterly forlorn. There will be no compromise until the tactical revolution is complete or lying in hopeless tatters. No matter if the players are faltering and the results are haemorrhaging the system must be put in place with the rest to follow. It will continue to be all or nothing despite the fact that what we're all witnessing right now is next to the latter.
Guardiola candidly admitted back in October, "When we are not perfect we concede a lot" and it is clear now beyond dispute that City are an awful long way from perfection. Which makes today's slide out to 5/1 for City to win their third Premier League title an irrelevance.
The odds could be quadrupled and it's still not worthy of a brush with a bargepole. They simply do not have the criteria required to sustain a title challenge and ultimately prevail, a criteria we've seen emphatically met by decades of champions regardless of their style of football or who is in charge.
Besting the rest of the best necessitates cohesiveness, mental fortitude, the ability to grind out wins from poor displays, and a team with such belief in their methods it equates to a cause. City do not possess any of the above. They appear a substantial way from even possessing a quarter of it.
Liverpool however do and following a frustrating - if entertaining - fortnight they too have widened to 5/1. That is where the smart money should go.
Whether Project Pep eventually clicks into hyper-drive and bamboozles opponents rather than his own players only the future knows but the chances look likely. Given the coach's impeccable track record, the talent at his disposal, and the further talent expected to arrive in the forthcoming windows to replace those currently falling short it would take a brave and foolish man to write off City's credentials wholesale. For the short-term however it would take equal pluck and naivety to believe any significant transformation is imminent.
It's been proven that the most effective and quickest way for someone to learn an entirely new language is by full immersion and that is the philosophy that Guardiola is adhering to at Manchester City. He is dispensing with a football version of Rosetta Stone and has too much reverence for his teachings to belittle it to evening classes. Which explains why some of the personnel appear lost right now. Because they are. Because they are standing in an unfamiliar piazza asking directions in broken Pep to the nearest train station.
However many eventually become fluent and how long this will take remains open to debate but meanwhile Chelsea, Arsenal, and - it should be assumed - Liverpool march on accumulating points.
All three are close to becoming the finished article while Guardiola's City are still on chapter one and though the end results could conceivably amaze at present it is little more than a mess of confusion and mangled vowels.