Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Manchester City’s ‘second team’ frightening

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 20 Dec 2017

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Manchester City made it through to the last four of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, as the Citizens needed penalties to beat Leicester following a 1-1 draw after normal and extra-time.

Both teams fielded weakened starting line-ups. However, the eleven that started for City would probably finish in the top-six or seven of the Premier League such is the abundance of quality in the Citizens squad.

City boss Pep Guardiola has attempted to deflect attention from the prospect of his team winning the quadruple. However, if City carries on the way they are it is a great possibility.

Amazing strength-in-depth at City

We all know about the Kevin De Bruyne’s, Raheem Sterling’s and the David Silva’s in the Citizens first-choice starting line-up. City have produced some scintillating football this season. No question.

However, beyond the first-choice starting eleven the Citizens have amazing strength-in-depth. City were by no means at their best against Leicester, but until deep into stoppage-time, they had done enough to beat an experienced Leicester side.

You know that City have seriously good options when Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus and German playmaker are part of the team that plays in the much-maligned EFL Cup.

To be fair to Leicester, Bernardo Silva, Jesus, Gundogan, Fabian Delph, Danilo and Eliaquim Mangala have played a part in the Citizens Premier League campaign at various points this season.

However, for City to have in reserve the likes of highly-rated youngster Phil Foden and Ukrainian starlet Alexander Zinchenko is a luxury that not even their closest rivals have.

Clever recruitment in the transfer market

The accusations of Manchester City only having a good squad because they spent big are ludicrous. The Citizens have spent big, but so have most other successful English clubs in the Premier League era.

The only club to have had major success without heavy investment was obviously Leicester. The Foxes won the title against all odds. However, theirs was a one-off story.

The secret to City’s success is clever recruitment. The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea also spent big in the summer. The Red Devils also heavily invested in their squad the previous summer too.

Manchester City have signed players that have improved the team. While underneath the first-choice eleven there is a very capable group of players ready to fill a void if needed.

The Citizens have not just bought players because of their names either. The signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica is a case in point, although he missed Tuesday’s game. He may have had a developing reputation, but he was hardly a household name to English fans.

However, the young ‘keeper has become a key part of the Citizens looking far more secure in defence. The signing of versatile full-back Danilo is another that could now be regarded as shrewd from the City recruitment side of things.

Favourites to win the EFL Cup

Unsurprisingly, Manchester City are favourites to win the EFL Cup this season at odds of 8/5, despite Pep Guardiola fielding what is considered a weakened team against Leicester on Tuesday night.

The Catalan boss has rotated his squad well to keep his players fresh and ready for every challenge thrown at them. There is almost a sense of inevitability about Manchester City winning the title this season.

However, couldn’t they do us all a favour and at least let somebody else win a trophy this season. If not then fair play to Pep Guardiola and his side, as they just seem unstoppable at the minute.

Will Manchester City win the EFL Cup?


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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