Pep Guardiola sent Manchester City fans into frenzy in January when he announced that he would be taking charge of the Citizens from July. He decided that his stay at Munich was enough after 3 years with the Bayern. He wanted a new challenge and what better than the Premier League?
City who had been chasing him since his Barcelona days pounced. It has been almost two months into the new season and all the frenzy has settled down. Let us now take a look at his initial impact.
Manchester City’s record since the start of the season has been really good to say the least. In 11 games under Guardiola they have won 10, including a derby at Old Trafford, and have drawn the other one. They sit at the top of the Premier league standings with six wins from six and with a 4 point lead. That is a really good start to life at a new club.
Pep signed 9 players in the transfer window costing close to 200 million dollars, with Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane, Nolito and Claudio Bravo being the marquee ones. The summer also saw a clear out of players who weren’t going to cut it under Guardiola. Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony, Joe Hart have all moved out on loans to Sevilla, Valencia, Stoke and Torino respectively. Whether they’ll be back any point of time is another discussion.
Life in Manchester:
With all the signings behind him Guardiola started his Manchester reign with a 2-1 win over Sunderland which wasn’t as close as the scoreline suggests.This was followed by a Champions league qualifiers which they won comfortably. Stoke City, West Ham and Manchester United followed but none of them posed a threat to Pep’s City. They lost their 100% record this week when Celtic held them to a thrilling 3-3 draw in Glasgow. That won’t dampen the mood in Manchester as they know it was just a blip rather than a blemish.
1. Raheem Sterling 2.0
Under Pep Guardiola Sterling has reinvented himself playing a key role in the 3-man attack along with Sergio Aguero and Nolito. His work rate has improved drastically and his finishing in front of goal hasn’t been bad either. His overall play and presence on field have improved very well. He has scored 4 goals and created 7 chances in 6 games. Last season was a highly inconsistent one for him and he would hope to continue his new found form.
2. End of Joe Hart ?
One of the sour things this summer has been the treatment dished out at Hart who is regarded as one of the better goalkeepers in Europe. Pep did not like his ball playing skills and wanted a keeper confident on the ball with the ability to pick out his teammates. Hart wasn’t that type and was farmed out on loan to Torino on deadline day.
3. Team Morale:
The whole squad seems confident and that has shown in their results and performances. They have dismissed teams with utter disdain. The defense has improved a lot from last season and the entire unit has gelled well and gone about their task with minimum fuss.
Things are looking up again at Manchester City after a disappointing end to last season where they finished fourth in the Premier League. The arrival of Pep along with the host of summer signings which have translated into performances on field has the optimism high among City fans.
Do you think Pep Guardiola can guide Manchester City to another Premier League title? Let us know your thoughts, in the comments below!
Photo by Corey-Adam Crowley Graphics