Manchester City has turned into the Barcelona of English football this season after eleven victories and a draw against Everton at the openings of the Premier League. This feat comes right after the first year without a trophy in Pep Guardiola’s career.
It seems that the Spanish manager has taken his job seriously and is keeping it up. This is precisely the start of the new campaign Manchester City fans have been waiting for. Citizen’s fans are not only celebrating the results but have been delighted by the impressive play of their team.
Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus goals assured the removal of a primary opponent in the face of Italy at the Etihad on Tuesday night. Their counterparts Napoli also famous for their intense style and effective play could not withstand the Citizens’ determination and stamina. Thus the ten consecutive victories for Manchester City came as a testimony of Pep Guardiola’s leadership at the Etihad.
The Big Reconstruction
Season 2016/17 was aggravating and tense for the Spanish manager as he made some major cuts during the summer.
Veterans like Jesus Navas, Gael Clichy, Willy Caballero and Pablo Zabaleta left the club on a free transfer, and Manchester City stars like Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri, Fernando, Nolito, Aleksandar Kolarov, Kelechi Iheanacho and Enes Unal also left the team.
In addition, it must be noted that Joe Hart parted the club as well although still present in Manchester City’s records. Currently at West Ham it is clear that the English international goalkeeper is not going to return to Etihad.
Manchester City boss did not overlook the impending need for changes in the team and was ruthless. Eager to upgrade the squad and improve its performance Guardiola brought Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo designing an indestructible front in addition to another summer appearance, the ex Benfica goalkeeper Ederson.
Manchester City reached £224.37 million spending as the Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva was finally added to the list of new arrivals. Due to summer discount sales the total expense should be less with £86.72 million, however the club is already benefiting from the investment.
Guardiola’s drive for excellence turned out to be a pricey project and many expected that such an excessive spending must warrant results. Although the full effects lie ahead the changes were much needed and the Etihad based team is now equipped with players with average age 26.9 and their potential and talent for the future justify the superfluity.
The Most Important Development
Pep Guardiola laid the foundations of a change he was aiming for by bringing players who fit his tactical style.
He is a man who prefers power and dominant-style play. It is evident that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss like to command the pace and dictate the proceedings by putting a lot of strain on the opponent side.
The changes he made during the summer allowed him to get the best out of players he already had in his squad and – in case of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph – upgraded the class of their play.
The team’s biggest star Kevin De Bruyne, Delph and Sterling are may be the three most prominent examples of Pep Guardiola’s impact on Manchester City.
Bringing Back Delph the Man
Midfielder by nature and until recently almost forgotten, Fabian Delph is proving himself an important first-team player. The Englishman is brought back to replace the long-term injured left-back Benjamin Mendy.
The decision to position Delph in an unfamiliar position was given a sceptical reception but the 27-year old performed brilliantly. Delph’s tempo and technical skill turned out to be an ideal match for Guardiola’s plan. Delph demonstrated his on-ball and passing capabilities and performed his full-back role wholeheartedly thus aiding Manchester City’s overhaul.
The Recreated Raheem
Pep Guardiola’s attack-oriented system turned around another English international who was striving to prove his value. Raheem Sterling is no longer a struggling winger but a great poacher with a light and positive attitude.
Until now Raheem Sterling has scored eight goals in all competitions for Manchester City with joint leading scores this term for Manchester City.
Sterling is following strictly Guardiola’s instructions and is rambling freely. Manchester City boss prefers to see his wingers play more centrally which led City’s frontline becoming a destructive force scoring 29 goals in eight matches in the Premier League.
De Bruyne – The Boy
Former Chelsea blackball Kevin de Bruyne went a long path before his transformation into the most valuable player in the league in Mark Hughes’ book.
The Belgian’s brilliant style has impressed everyone and even the opposing teams and coaches are giving him prise. The City main man and midfielder is performing the best football of his life at Manchester City this year.
Kevin De Bruyne appeared in 100 plays for Manchester City already and scored two goals and impressive 7 assists to his name this season already. Four of those seven De Bruyne made in his 100th City appearance against Stoke City, but he also added an assist in his team’s Champions League victory last night.
Giving him all the freedom he needs to take responsibility has done wonders for De Bruyne’s confidence. His ingenuity, wit and pinpoint passing are the three things that make him a worthwhile investment for Manchester City this season.
Coaching the Key
It seems that Pep Guardiola now has the prescription for success. Little is left to be doubted after witnessing the way Pep Guardiola prepared his team for last three matches – Chelsea, Stoke City and Napoli. The Spaniard tactical wisdom took the Citizens to new peaks with fluidity and elegance but also with remarkable effectiveness.
Guardiola’s players share their manager’s vision and drive for success.
After those results and the attitude they have currently showed 13/8 betting odds on over 4.5 goals against Burnely next weekend is very close to a sure bet.