Manchester City is one of the most beautiful stories in the history of football as a sport. Of course, you will see many stories in football, but we do not think there is one comparable to this one. A decade ago, Manchester City was a club in the English Premier League with little success. Sure, their following was solid, especially in Manchester. However, the situation in this club changed when new owners decided to make it one of the most successful teams in the whole continent, not just England. At that moment, a completely new era started for the club.
History of Manchester City
The first major step was made by hiring Roberto Mancini. An experienced Italian manager had much success during his career, both as a player and a manager. So, there were not many better options than his for heading the team into the future. He didn’t need much time before the club won its first Premier League title after many decades. Still, that was only the foundation for what was to come in the following years.
The most important era in the club’s history started after Pep Guardiola was appointed manager. Pep Guardiola is a faultless manager who had success in practically all the teams he managed throughout his career. We all remember the revolution he started after implementing a completely new style of play in Barcelona. After Barcelona, he went to Bayern Munich. Finally, he found a great place for his skills in Manchester City.
Even though Manchester City won a couple of titles over the years, the main prize has remained too distant for them. We are talking about the Champions League. In 2023, they will have the opportunity to fill that gap. They are about to face Inter Milan on the tenth of June. Sure, their opponent could be much harder, but no one doubts that they will have quite the challenge on their way to becoming champions of the old continent.
The uniqueness of this team is incredibly simple: they guarantee a spectacle because they play football at the edge of human capabilities. Everyone who has watched at least one of their matches knows what we are discussing. The number of world-class players in this team is exceptional. Behind the skill, ease of opening opponents, and waves of unconventional decisions, athleticism and stamina are often hard to spot, but without them, City would not be itself. Furthermore, we can easily see that the number of fans who follow the club was boomed in the last decade. You can see fans of the club all over the globe.
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These endless openings and jerks are in search of free zones. This crazy pressure causes the opponent to feel claustrophobic when they are strangled from all sides and deprived of any options. The only thing is to give the ball away. Moreover, the pressure does not weaken after 20-30-40 minutes but lasts as long as needed. Pep has started a robotic vacuum cleaner that runs back and forth until it completes the program. You will agree that this is impossible without a team filled with players more than competent to provide the services Pep Guardiola requires. Of course, this is not always simple to do. The number of matches clubs in the EPL need to go through throughout the season is more than 50. So, everyone needs to be as prepared as possible. Furthermore, meeting the physical requirements is not always possible.
This Man City is programmed. All phases of the attack are drawn to the millimeter, and everyone on the field perfectly understands the plan: where and at what speed to run, where to stop or make a false movement, and where and how much to take the opponent away. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. They are a team that wants to achieve a lot during every match and start attacking the opponent’s goals immediately. If you look at the stats, mainly when they score goals, you will see that it is spread all over the match. Even though Halaand is scoring more goals than any other player on the team, you will see that almost everyone on the team has scored a goal or provided an assist. And they know that it will bring results. Failed in this attack? Okay, there will be dozens more. Didn’t it work again? It’s okay; we’ll be stubborn until the pass slips through the bottom of the cross and drops to the right point. And it will happen.
They trust each other so much that they can move the ball blindfolded. Under this pressure, the opponent dissolves.
This is science
It’s not even football. This is science. And it will not be FIFA or UEFA that will evaluate its structure, but the Nobel Committee.
This attack design speed, touchdown passes, and decisions you don’t expect turn the moment in a split second. You get pleasure from even seemingly mournful things: how they create a numerical advantage in any zone where the ball ends up or from passes between the lines and behind the backs of the defenders. Everything is so timely and smooth that breaking away is impossible.
And yes, they are not robots. They don’t care about the game. Here is Haaland waving his arms angrily when he beats Courtois on the corner of the goalkeeper’s area and rolls out into the center of the penalty area, and there is no one to score in the empty ones. Is De Bruyne screaming and frowning when he sees someone late with a pass to the flank? Here Guardiola turns on the fans after another goal and enjoys the team. And she goes on to score more and more. Tireless, stubborn, and probably, somewhat narcissistic.
Alvar Aalto, Finland’s greatest architect, said: “When creating a window, imagine that your beloved girl is looking out of it.”
That’s how Pep builds this Man City.
With great love.