Manchester City have steadily risen to the top of the English Premier League and look poised to be one of the best English squads for a long time.
Constantly bringing in new talent and not afraid to invest heavily to sign big names to the club, City are now at the cusp of also being considered one of the best across Europe.
With all this, one of the best signings they’ve had isn’t on the pitch, but along the sidelines with Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard has transformed the team into what it is now and he has rightfully gotten the credit he deserves regarding City’s transformation from United’s “noisy neighbours” to Premier League champions.
Here are a few of the biggest changes that Guardiola has brought since arriving at the Etihad Stadium.
VASTLY IMPROVED PLAYERS
Guardiola had a lot of things to figure out once he met the team. City had a lot of talent and potential, but were not fully fulfilled because the players were not being used to their strength and maximum capacities.
Raheem Sterling failed to make an immediate impact at the Etihad, and many began to question whether he was truly worth the £50 million City paid Liverpool. Guardiola was able to transform the Englishman and is now considered one of the best in the Premier League.
The Spaniard did the same with David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi. The former was thought to be past his prime while the latter was being criticised as a defender in the Premier League. Guardiola’s genius revitalised Silva and he was able to recreate the magic he had while Otamendi is now heavily considered as one of the best in the league.
Pep is famous for turning good players to great and City’s transformation is no exception.
INJECTING HIS STYLE OF PLAY TO NEAR PERFECTION
Before Guardiola, City had the names and a veteran manager in Manuel Pellegrini who many hoped would finally lift City against Premier League heavyweights.
However, this was fully realised when Guardiola marked his arrival as he was able to give City a true identity and their playing style perfectly blended with the team’s talents. The Spaniard was cutthroat with those who did not fit his style of play like Gael Clichy, Aleksander Kolarov and Bacary Sagna, and played a more youthful team who abided by his football philosophy.
Furthermore, Guardiola was able to give players like John Stones and Ederson the confidence to play their game and be comfortable with possession which helps them move forward especially in attack.
Everyone adjusted, including legends like Sergio Aguero who was more than willing to accept a new style of play and still be one of the most effective strikers in the Premier League.
UNAFRAID IN THE TRANSFER MARKET
When it comes to dealing with players in the transfer market, Guardiola has always been keen to bring in the best talent and has won the trust of the team owners in dealing with big-money transfers.
In his short tenure with the Citizens, Guardiola has brought in players like Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan in attempts to fill in the holes left within the squad.
This season, Manchester City welcomed one name in Riyad Mahrez to add to a deep squad worthy of challenging in any competition they’re in.
While some transfers have not worked as expected, Nolito and Claudio Bravo, Guardiola has proven that of his signings have worked for the team as City are undoubtedly one of the most stacked squads across Europe.
Finally, it appears that Guardiola is very comfortable where he is and there seems to be no indication that he is set to leave the Etihad anytime soon. With the Premier League continuing to improve and the competition intensifying at a fast rate, Guardiola and City sit atop and are the best until they are dethroned.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 23, 2018