Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Manchester City in a different league

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Nov 2017

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Last season many Premier League observers were left with a lot questions about Manchester City and iconic boss Pep Guardiola. The Citizens finished third in the Premier League, just a place higher than under their previous boss Manuel Pellegrini.

City last season produced some good performances. However, they also produced some poor displays, with defeats at Everton and Leicester particularly memorable ones.

This season Manchester City are playing the sort of dominant football that Barcelona played under Guardiola. They play a similar sort of football that made the Catalan giants under Guardiola a legendary team.

A cut above the rest

Frankly, Manchester City have been a cut above the rest in the Premier League this season. They have failed to win just one of their 13 games this season in the top-flight.

The only game they failed to win was against Everton in August, as the Toffees left the Etihad Stadium with a 1-1 draw. However, the Citizens played more than half of that match with ten men after the dismissal of Kyle Walker just before half time.

Guardiola’s side have cut through teams like a knife through butter at times this season. They have played a brand of football that any supporter would love their team to produce.

The current group of City players have bought into Guardiola’s football philosophy. This has produced the results you see every time City takes to the field.

I have always been a big admirer of Guardiola. He is football coach that sticks to his beliefs. However, unlike other more stubborn coaches more often than not his football beliefs yield rewards in winning games and trophies.

Money well spent at City

It is easy for people to criticise City for the money they have spent in recent years. However, spending big does not always bring success. Buying the right players certainly helps and City have done that in recent years.

Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have all joined City in recent years. Granted all four were expensive signings, but they all contribute something positive to the City team.

All four are potential match-winners and that is why City are currently tearing it up in the Premier League.

The fees for Sane and Gabriel Jesus now look like small change considering the crazy summer transfer market. To think that both players cost less than Everton paid for Gylfi Sigurdsson, they look like bargains compared to the Icelandic star.

No doubt the label of ‘chequebook manager’ will be stuck on Pep Guardiola. However, the Catalan boss is getting the best out of those players. Raheem Sterling is a good example of how the former Barcelona boss can develop players.

The success is not just down to the money they have spent. The team are playing how their boss wants them to play and seem to be enjoying it.

Difficult to stop City even this early

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed that City have not won the title yet. That is the most Wenger-like statement ever. Thanks for that Captain Obvious.

However, the Citizens are currently eight points clear of city rivals Manchester United, who are second in the table.

A busy midweek Premier League fixture list sees both teams in action. Guardiola’s side have a home game against Southampton on Wednesday night, while Manchester United have a tricky trip to Watford.

Even at this early stage of the season, it is difficult to back against the Citizens winning the title this season. The fact Guardiola’s side are now 1/10 to win the title suggests that the bookmakers believe that the Citizens will be crowned champions in May.

Last season I wrote an article stating how I thought Manchester City were the team to beat after six games. Maybe I jumped the gun slightly. However, it is fair to say that City are definitely the team to beat this season, their football and results are the proof of that.

Can anybody catch Manchester City this season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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