At the dawn of the Premier League campaign, few would have expected Manchester City to sweep the title this season. So much was Pep Guardiola’s aggression to put together a world-class team which wasn’t the case at the club a few years ago.
The highly strengthened team have lived up to the expectations, and unsurprisingly sit 15 points clear at the top already, with more than a third of the season to play. 11 clean sheets, 64 goals scored and just 13 conceded are some of the mindblowing stats of this team which has been one of the best in Europe this season. City, along with Inter Milan have been the only two teams yet to taste defeat this season.
Having managed the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and having been proved the best, and then suddenly finishing a lowly third in his new venture was a failure by his standards. The summer was the defining period for Manchester City when the owners splashed money which enabled Pep to build a team that would keep no stone unturned to win him the league title.
With a third of the season to play, the question that now arises is, ‘ Can Manchester City repeat the Invincible feat?’ Of course, they would be mixed opinions. Some would say ‘surely yes’, and it may well be. Looking at the way they have played so far this season, and the quality of players, it is surely possible.
The major distinction between Manchester City and the other teams in the Premier League this season is that City have an excellent backup in every position, and even in the field, they always have an extra man on and off the ball. Two excellent strikers, a fully equipped defence and a highly creative midfield have been the key to their success this season. Arch Rivals Manchester United were the closest to strength on paper, the Derby at Old Trafford saw Jose Mourinho’s tactics badly outclassed by Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola has used each of his player to full potential. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have been the most improved players under him. His quest for supremacy started with offloading the surplus players and rectifying his goalkeeping problems by bringing in Ederson Moares. His players have fully adapted to his Spanish flavoured football involving quick short passing with sheer pace.
Now coming towards the other half who may say Manchester City will not go unbeaten until the end of the season, and they may not be false either. Even a single defeat will see they’re run broken. It was not until the last few weeks that City has been made to sweat for full 3 points. They have surprisingly held to a nil-nil draw against Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago, fortunately for them, Palace missed a penalty.
The win against Newcastle wasn’t easy too but managed to edge them out. Their League Cup campaign hasn’t been satisfactory since the round of 16, somehow managing to cling on.
As the season passes, it becomes difficult for any manager to keep his team in good shape owing to injuries and tiredness. But having successfully played out the busy period without a defeat, things could get a bit lighter for them. With Champions League Football set to resume, City should take care to keep the momentum going in all competitions. If they do, there is no stopping them from repeating Arsenal’s fear of being ‘The Invincibles’.
But in conclusion, whether City end the season as invincibles or not, Pep Guardiola has surely put together a team that will be world beaters in the seasons to come, and their longtime dream of winning the Champions League can well and truly be a reality.