Frank Lampard believes that Pep Guardiola may have asked for too much from his Manchester City squad, adding that the Spaniard will have learnt more from his first season in the Premier League than from any previous campaigns.
Guardiola's debut season in England has not gone according to script, with City still involved in a top-four tussle with Liverpool, Arsenal and city rivals Manchester United.
FA Cup and Champions League exits to Arsenal and Monaco respectively in recent weeks mean that Guardiola - whose side are 13 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea - will end a season without a trophy for the first time in his managerial career.
And Lampard, who spent a season at City in the 2014-15 campaign after ending his 13-year stint at Chelsea, thinks Guardiola may have demanded too much from the squad he inherited from Manuel Pellegrini.
"I'm sure Pep Guardiola has learned more this year than in any other year of his management," Lampard told talkSPORT.
"At Barcelona, he had a great team – who were already playing the same style – but he enhanced it. [And at] Bayern Munich, he took on the same.
"Manchester City obviously have great players – and they've added great players – but he demands a lot from his players.
"There's a real intelligence factor. Every player needs to know how to move position, change position, play in different positions – and I think he's asked a lot from them this year, and I think that might be the one thing he'll look at this year: did I ask too much from this group?"
After a frustrating 0-0 draw in the Manchester derby – in which Gabriel Jesus had a late goal disallowed for offside – City will look to return to winning ways when they take on struggling Middlesbrough on Sunday.