When Manchester City announced in February that they would be appointing Pep Guardiola as their boss this summer it was a major statement of intent from the Citizens.
It said ‘we are fed-up of wasting money on mediocre and that we are set to really go for it’.
In terms of bosses they had had the likes of Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, who were good bosses, but were never in the ‘world-class’ bracket.
Appointing Guardiola was the closest thing City were going to get to a cast-iron guarantee of winning trophies.
Already started reshaping his squad
Officially Guardiola has not even started in the City job. However, his influence has already kicked-in with City completing the signing of German international midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Dortmund.
Sky Sports are also reporting that the Citizens are in advanced talks with the Bundesliga club about signing Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The striker won Bundesliga Player of the Year, scoring 25 times in 29 appearances for Thomas Tuchel’s side last season. He has been prolific in for BVB in the last few seasons. The 26-year-old had previously been linked with moves to Arsenal and Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The prospect of Aubameyang lining-up alongside Aguero next season will be a frightening one for Premier League defences, especially with Belgian attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne behind the pair.
Spending big is not always the answer
Sometimes in football spending big is not enough to guarantee success, especially if you spend big on the wrong players. City have continually spent big on the likes Eliaquim Mangala, Fernando, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi and Raheem Sterling, with mixed results.
Sometimes being successful is about signing quality, rather than quantity. The Citizens spent a lot of money attempting to develop their squad into an all-singing, all-dancing winning machine. Unfortunately that machine seems to have been missing a few working parts in the last few seasons.
For all the money spent on players, who were let’s face it were often over-priced, City are no further forward than they were two years ago. In fact it could be argued that they have regressed rather than progressed in the past two seasons.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side may have made it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time, but in truth they went out of the competition with a whimper against eventual winners Real Madrid.
There will be no whimper exits under Guardiola. He will build a team that will pass an opponent into submission. The prospective £50million-plus signing of Aubameyang suggests the Spaniard feels City lack firepower, which was clearly evident in the two Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid.
Favourites for the Premier League title
The inevitable happened when Guardiola was appointed as Manchester City boss. The Citizens were made favourites to win the Premier League. The men from Manchester are now odds of 2/1 to be crowned champions next May.
It was inevitable because Guardiola has an aura about him and it is not just his expensive cologne either. His presence in the dugout seems to assure his teams and supporters that they will win games and trophies.
His teams have a psychological edge over the opponents before they even go onto the field. That helps his teams become successful and boy has he been successful. The 45-year-old has been successful at two of the biggest clubs in world and European football, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Critics will say those jobs were relatively easy jobs, but he masterminded a rebuilding job at the Nou Camp and completely changed the style of play at Bayern. The lack of a Champions League win at Bayern will always be the stick that his critics beat him with though.
Manchester City have been striving to become one of the elite in European football, but never really acted like it. They spent money yes, but their recruitment policy was poor in the past.
Appointing Guardiola was City finally acting like an ambitious European big boy and not a nouvre riche faker. There is no guarantee that the Spaniard will conquer the world with City, but you would be a brave man to back against City succeeding under the former-Barcelona boss.
What would be success for Guardiola at Manchester City?