How would they cope on a cold winter’s night in……….
In August 1995, Alan Hansen to much retrospective slating declared that you don’t “win anything with kids”. Little did he know that the Manchester United’s “class of 92” would not only win everything but would become a brand and turn Manchester United into a dynasty.
Over 20 years later high ranking pundits declared similar ignorance towards the blue side of Manchester. After a disappointing first season they proclaimed through their snigger that Pep Guardiola could not win the premier league his way and would have to compromise. This is England mate.
Lesser men would have buckled and compromised, but Pep didn’t. He stated himself he would get no joy from winning any other way than his way. Even more admirable given that last season saw wretched period where City lost 4 out of 8 games and conceded 4 against Everton and Leicester in quick succession and stumbled into the Top 4. The critics tone grew louder, Peps defiance stronger
You need strength and power to win the premier league they snarled?– Pep assembled the smallest squad in the division and you wouldn’t fancy many of them winning an arm wrestle
You can’t play from the back, keepers save shots and nothing else was added. –Pep spent €34.7m on a keeper who is a decent shot stopper, but more importantly a midfielder playing in goal.
You can’t use offense as defence in the premier league– Pep is on to oversee a team with the best defensive and offensive record in the league.
The cliché yard stick often used of foreign players/managers or philosophy’s is how would they cope on a cold winter’s night in Stoke, but thanks to Pep Guardiola football in England is finally evolving and teams like Stoke and West Brom are set to be relegated, Southampton are set to join them and how they wish they took the advice Pep offered Nathan Redmond to attack a bit more under Pellegrino. The times are changing.
Man City are changing the conventional wisdom that goals win leagues but defenses win titles. At the start of the season most punters couldn’t split the two Manchester clubs, 8 months on they couldn’t be further apart in every aspect. The represent polar opposites in their approach and most believed United’s solid spine and defense would trump City’s “naivety”. How wrong they were as City cruised to Premier League glory with 5 games to spare. Records are likely to tumble at their feet over the next month but that should be parked. Man City must set their sights on a decade of dominance.
Like Sir Alex Ferguson and the class of 92 that proved everyone wrong in 1995, this should only be the beginning. City have a young team, a great manager and are well resourced. Back to back titles and European success has to achieved for this to project to fulfill its potential. They have crashed out of Europe too early in the last 2 seasons to teams they were favourites to beat. Also worrying is it was by 2 teams that adopted a gun hoe attacking style Guardiola would endorse and probably influenced from his Barcelona teams. The worry could be that the revolution he is inspiring could cause his downfall both home and abroad. Fortune favours the brave.
Another concern will be that as I wrote previously City will now become a trophy, a glory win in a one off game. If you want proof of that already? City lost twice in the league this season to Liverpool and Man United. They both played the worst team in the league (Swansea & West Brom) and lost in their next fixture, the cigars were out after going all out to beat City, sure even Pogba played well at the Etihad. I expect this to occur a lot more next season making retention of their title even tougher.
Man City need to go again in the transfer window and strengthen when they are on top, they also must convince Guardiola to commit for the next 5 years. Given how draining his style of management is on him he has always been reluctant to long term commitment and you can understand why when you see him up close on the side-line and the leaked glimpses we get of him on the training pitch. He is possessed by Football.
Man City stand on the brink of dynasty,The Pep revolution is in full swing and now its England that must adapt to him.