As the prospect of an incredible quadruple receded, Graham Hunter believes Pep Guardiola is showing traces of personal strain in charge of the treble-chasing Manchester City.
Taking charge of Barcelona in 2008, Guardiola's four-season spell with the club was followed by a three-year term with German club Bayern Munich.
Approaching the end of his third season with City, the prospect of a second successive Premier League win will not take away from the disappointment of Wednesday evening's Champions League exit at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
"I can tell you, and I'm not talking about inside sources," Hunter stated, "but I know from certain information I'm given from people around him that he's very, very, very tired right now."
Were this pattern to repeat, or were the title to slip away, then small thoughts in his head about how much this is costing him personally might rise
Although Manchester City are enjoying another spectacular season domestically, Hunter acknowledges the strain Guardiola's management approach generates internally.
"There has been a toll for the consistent pressure from the high-pressure level he is working at," Hunter noted, "but I am talking about above all else the pressure he puts himself under."
"There might come a time ahead of when he's set his wish to move on - which is about three year's time - when the cost is too high."
However, with City still seeking their maiden success in Europe, Hunter believes Pep Guardiola will remain devoted to the task for the time being.
"Right now, I don't think it's that," Hunter asserted, "right now, if you're asking does he go, are we going to see a shock like [Zinedine] Zidane leaving Real Madrid, I don't think that's coming now, no."
"[However], were this pattern to repeat, or were the title to slip away, then small thoughts in his head about how much this is costing him personally might rise, but I really would be surprised [if he left now]."
After last night's disappointment, Guardiola and City will look to another clash with Spurs this weekend where the eventual destination of the Premier League trophy will be the highest priority.