City’s success more than just about money

By Guest writer, Mon 23 April 2018 15:46

City’s success more than just about money  

Manchester City have romped to the Premier League title playing some of the best football seen in the modern era.

There were a few late blips and Champions League glory still eludes the blue half of the city but there is no question that City are one of the best sides in Europe and play a brand of football that even the neutrals love to watch.

There are always detractors, however, and when a wealthy club pays out a fortune on new players they are perceived to have ‘bought the title’.

That was the case when Blackburn Rovers scooped the English top-flight back in the 1994-95 campaign thanks to the backing of Jack Walker, with players of the calibre of Alan Shearer, Graeme Le Saux, Tim Flowers and Chris Sutton lured to Ewood Park.

The sums involved back then may have been a fraction of what it cost to assemble the current Citizens’ squad but there is much more to City’s success than just the numbers involved.

An expensively-assembled squad can lead to a team of individuals and it is by no means a guarantee of success - it is all about a collective effort to win a title after 38 games.

Leicester City showed the power of togetherness and team spirit during their incredible title-winning campaign a few years back, and Pep Guardiola has instilled the same at the Etihad.

Players are encouraged go out on the pitch together, leave together and celebrate together and there has certainly been plenty to celebrate about this term.

It could be argued that the best signing of all has been the Spanish manager himself who managed to turn things around after a trophy-less and frustrating first season in charge.

Having enjoyed incredible success at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, there were always doubts over whether his style of play would work in the cut-and-thrust of the Premier League and it took a year for his ideas and philosophy to bear fruit.

The 47-year-old identified what he needed last summer and brought in full-backs Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo to ensure he had pace and power out wide to aid his attacking ranks.

It certainly paid off, with City launching attack after attack out wide while the likes of David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne control the midfield.

Even though vast sums of money have been paid on transfer fees, there is a sense that not a penny has been wasted on big-name stars who then become surplus to requirements and sit on the bench - unlike those neighbours from Old Trafford.

Guardiola leaves no stone unturned and all his squad talk about how he has improved them as players - something that money cannot buy.

Raheem Sterling is now scoring goals for fun while John Stones is becoming the defender that both City and England crave.

While clubs like Newcastle, with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley in charge, have made it clear they cannot compete financially with the big boys, it doesn’t stop him betting on roulette, much to the chagrin of Toon supporters. Guardiola however has proved that it is not how much you spend but what you do with the resources available that is key to success.

Despite the woes of the likes of Ashley and others, City are in safe hands with Pep and his philosophy; nothing is down to luck.