MANCHESTER CITY – PEP GUARDIOLA
-Credit: Muhd El-Bonga Ibraheem
It is one thing to spend hefty sum of money in the transfer market on various world class players, and it is totally a different thing to get them to adapt to your tactics within a short while. It takes a great gaffer to achieve that feat within a very short period of time especially in a very capricious league like the English Premier League.
Without any question, Pep Guardiola deserves huge credit. Although spending such a staggering amount of money– close to £600m on new signings– automatically guarantees success trophy wise; the credit Pep deserves here is for making them to blend into a formidable side. He inherited De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva and Aguero. Pep did good works on Otamendi, Stones, Sane and Sterling. The last two wide-men have threateningly become very dangerous in the final third under his tutelage as manager; they have equally become more clinical, they create brilliant chances and provide unbelievable assists.
Pep Guardiola was able to build a strong team behind the unrivaled dynamism and creativity of the likes of De Bruyne and Silva while Fernandinho stays deep in order to provide absolute cover for the back-four. He equally boasts of pacy, tricky, and highly-technical wingers in Sane and Sterling who stretch the game and create a lot of width in his side. The team balance is just brilliant. That is absolutely magnificent from the Spanish tactician.
Other English teams are finding it difficult to catch up with City or to emulate their brilliant and entertaining attacking football. City currently top the league with an amazing 16 points difference over second place Manchester United. They have scored more goals than all the other sides. They’ve only lost one league game which is to Liverpool at Anfield.
So far, they’ve beaten Arsenal home and away; they’ve beaten Manchester United, their arch rival, at Old Trafford; they’ve beaten Tottenham; they’ve beaten Chelsea home and away as well. The only top-four team that managed to pick something from them in the league is Liverpool– albeit in a very competitive seven-goal thriller that ended 4-3 at Anfield.
Manchester City are completely unstoppable. They’ve set the bar so high in the Premier League– reminiscent of Jose Mourinho’s terrific 2004 Chelsea side that won the league with 98 points. The beautiful attacking play by City makes other teams look so pedestrian in the league. If it continues, I see them dominating the league for ages.
Sadly, the likes of Sir Alex aren’t there to check-mate them. Sir Alex was able to weather the storm when Arsene Wenger came with a new competition in the league; he equally weathered the storm when Jose Mourinho’s arrival raised the bar; he did same with the emergence of a high-spending City team– his noisy neighbours. It will take time for any manager to dislodge the seemingly-going-to-dominate City side.