When Manchester City announced that Pep Guardiola would be coming to the Etihad, the blue half of Manchester rejoiced. Of course, we all loved Manuel Pellegrini, but Pep offered a step or more up. Of course, Manuel did get us to the Semi Final of the Champions League, something Pep now also has the potential to repeat, and hopefully improve on.
The guy is a winner, and wherever he has gone, trophies have followed. Of course his record at Barcelona was pretty much flawless. La Liga winners in all but one of his seasons, two times Champions League winner along with two Copa Del Rey’s, three Supa Copa’s and two Club World Cups.
After his first season in England though, things were not all that positive. Letting go of Joe Hart, in favor of Claudio Bravo. Of course the Chilean didn’t have the greatest of debut seasons. That, along with the style of play Guardiola employed, saw him labelled arrogant and unwilling to adapt. The English game, apparently, was not suited to the Pep way of playing. This season, that theory and criticism from experts in the media, has been blown out of the water.
Defeated in the league only once, Pep’s side have dropped a mere nine points from a possible 90. That has led for those same pundits to be in awe of the domination City have shown. League Cup won, and the Premier League all but secured, the eyes now turn to the Champions League Quarter Finals.
Up against Liverpool, City have been made out as the bad guys against Jurgen Klopps heroes. Conveniently forgetting that Liverpool have, this season alone, signed the most expensive defender and sold one of the most expensive players.
That’s not to say that Pep doesn’t have his own fans. Ilkay Gundogan recently went on record to explain just how Pep Guardiola has improved the side. Goal scoring has been, believe it or not, more efficient. Scoring 85 goals in the League alone, City could easily get to that 100 goal mark.
Records are being broken all across the League, both individually and team-wise this season, and that’s no accident either. Gundogan explains that Guardiola has a full understanding of his players, and they have a clear understanding of Pep’s requirements.
This season has even seen the England National Team head coach turn to the Catalan master. Not just him, but Klopp and Pochettino also. The more expressive football played by these coaches is something English fans have been crying out for. It eventually took an open-minded Englishman to seek advice from a German, an Argentinian and Pep Guardiola.