Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Glory on Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:51 pm

Wish we had a coach who isnt scared af to take the game to them in a game such as that. Anyway, congrats. This was decided long ago anyway.

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by iftikhar on Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:20 pm

Guys, guys; don't get carried away. It's that proverbial rabbit & turtle race. Pep/City will take its feet off the gas around 25-30th round and Mou/MU to overtake them in the 37th round. :coffee:
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:48 pm

Congrats to all the city fans in Abu Dhabi

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by RealGunner on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:55 pm

There was no one ever in it from the start.

But next season we can hope Wolves can challenge them.
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by S on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:56 pm

@RealGunner wrote:There was no one ever in it from the start.

But next season we can hope Wolves can challenge them.


Are they backed by Abu Dhabi as well hmm
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Nishankly on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:58 pm

Congratulations Nasir and ChemicalBoy, Best team in the league by a mile.
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Lucifer on Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:03 pm

I hope this brings peace in middle East.

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Myesyats on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:55 pm

@Lucifer wrote:I hope this brings peace in middle East.

ffs rofl

Congrats Fraudiola&company, btw
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by CBarca on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:57 pm

Haven't seen domination in the EPL like this in a long time

Guardiola :bow: :bow: :bow:

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Luca on Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:10 pm

@CBarca wrote:Haven't seen domination in the EPL like this in a long time

Guardiola :bow: :bow: :bow:


Chelsea last season mate
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by El Gunner on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:31 am

We live in Abu Dhabi
We like to party
We don't cause trouble
We just drive Bugatti

Cool

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by breva on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:50 am

I doubt the ownership is much interested in the EPL. They have won the EPL with Pellegrini and Mancini and they were subsequently fired. They are not spending all that money to win the EPL.
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by CBarca on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:59 am

@Luca wrote:
@CBarca wrote:Haven't seen domination in the EPL like this in a long time

Guardiola :bow: :bow: :bow:


Chelsea last season mate


Eh? City are 6 points behind that total with 5 more games to go

outta here lol

More goals scored and less goals conceded

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by urbaNRoots on Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:37 am

Pellegrini won the Premier League and sent his then weaker team to the Champions League semi final, eventually to honorably lose to CL winners Real Madrid. Yet he got abused and thrown out like a used ho while Pep is celebrated.

Pep ain't shit and justice for Pellegrini!
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Kaladin on Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:09 am

The worst Arsenal side ever
A Mourinho led United
A Liverpool that has a midfield of Henderson-Can-Wijnaldum
An imploding Chelsea
A Spurs side that gets applauded for sideways passes and Harry Kane

Congratulations Bfrauld, you just won a fake league against fraudish teams that never was gonna challenge, with a fake team.

Now watch as he splashes £2bn on players yet cant spend a few on a wig.

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Hapless_Hans on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:18 am



Ban nasir, ban chemicalboy, delete the Man City crest from profile options IMO

The absolute worst

ever

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Winter is Coming on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:24 am

OMG rofl rofl

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Tomwin Lannister on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:54 am

If you

cringed your *bleep* ass off

close your tab

*Click click*

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Unique on Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:53 am

@Hapless_Hans wrote:

Ban nasir, ban chemicalboy, delete the Man City crest from profile options IMO

The absolute worst

ever
i wonder whos fans they borrowed to make that video. probs a bunch of drunk pool fans rofl

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by iftikhar on Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:07 pm

@Hapless_Hans wrote:

Ban nasir, ban chemicalboy, delete the Man City crest from profile options IMO

The absolute worst

ever
30 secs, that's all I could stand. Embarassed
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by CBarca on Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:35 pm

If you notice, Guardiola makes no appearances at all

He knew it was trash and wasn't going to associate himself with it :bow:

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Doc on Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:44 pm

20 seconds, I couldn't go any further. That video was too much cringe, way too much. Definitely something Pep did behind the scenes.

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Adit on Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:01 pm

@Hapless_Hans wrote:

Ban nasir, ban chemicalboy, delete the Man City crest from profile options IMO

The absolute worst

ever


Biggest cringe worthy shit I have seen this year and I have seen black mirror pig *bleep* scene.

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by Sina on Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:35 am

THE TIMES wrote:In depth: The inside story of how Manchester City won the Premier League

The Sunday Times, April 15 2018

The date is March 14 of this year, and Pep Guardiola is making the short journey from the seven star Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, where a special guest is waiting to greet him.

His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the billionaire owner of Manchester City, has invited Guardiola to his office for a catch up and to personally thank the Catalan for leading the team to the brink of a third league title in seven seasons.

Sheikh Mansour, accompanied by Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the City chairman, greets Guardiola with a handshake and hug before showing him around his office. Guardiola, who is in Abu Dhabi with his squad for a warm-weather training camp, is then invited to take a look at something that is of great personal pride to Sheikh Mansour: his trophy cabinet.

The Sheikh, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, has a full size replica of all six trophies City have won since he bought the club in 2008. Each of them is encased in a transparent box.

Sheikh Mansour points to one of the two Premier League trophies on display and says: “Maybe we will have another one soon,” drawing laughter from Guardiola and Al-Mubarak inside the air-conditioned room, which offers those present a respite from the baking temperatures outside.

That hope has now turned into reality. City’s fifth title in their 124-year history was secured today after Manchester United fell to a surprise defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

The famous Sergio Agüero-inspired title win of 2012 may have been the most dramatic trophy win in the club’s history, but this season’s triumph seems more significant purely because of the way City have swept all before them. City’s Champions League exit to Liverpool was disappointing – as was their league defeat to Manchester United – but their performances in the league this season have been near faultless.

Guardiola’s men have claimed the title in record-equalling time, losing just twice along the way, and crucially they have done it playing some of the best football this country has ever seen.

They have made it look easy, but of course it has not been. So how exactly did win the league in such impressive fashion? Those close to Guardiola say there are three factors behind City’s title triumph.

1) GUARDIOLA’S WORK RATE & MODUS OPERANDI Given his touchline histrionics and tense demeanour in press conferences, there is a perception from outside that Guardiola is something of a control freak who does not know how to switch off. But more often than not, he is so relaxed that he regularly potters around his office at the City Football Academy (CFA), the club’s £200 million training ground, with his shoes off. He will walk along the corridors of the first team building in his socks talking to staff. “How are you? What have you been up to?” he will ask.

Guardiola’s workrate appears to have rubbed off on his players Guardiola’s workrate appears to have rubbed off on his playersGetty Images The same approach applies to his relationship with his players too. Contrary to popular belief, he does not insist on sitting his players down and subjecting them to video clip after video clip on his laptop. Only on a couple of occasions per season will he beckon a player into the office for a chat or to point out something he has spotted in video analysis session. “Come, come,” he will say softly, “Let me show you this.”

Guardiola has an unrelenting belief in his own methods, but he always wants feedback from his players and coaches too. He is not an authoritarian.

“Do you like the way we play?” he asked his players in a training session early in the season, conscious perhaps of the failures of last term. The answer was unanimous: “Yes.”

Feedback is welcomed on match days too. In the final team meeting before City’s coach departs from the CFA and makes the two minute drive across the road to the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola’s last words to his players are always: “Any questions?”

The focus is on the collective. Every time he wins the manager of the month award, Guardiola insists on all his coaching staff being present in the photo. Guardiola’s coaches are well liked and respected. Mikel Arteta’s work on the training ground and in video analysis has been key to improving City’s possession game.

Guardiola only becomes tense on match days or the day before a game when he has to conduct his pre-match press conferences. It is no secret that Guardiola does not enjoy media engagements. During his press conferences, he fidgets a lot in the 25 minutes he sits on his swivelling chair at the top table in the press auditorium at the CFA. In the press conference that preceded the derby, he scratched his nose repeatedly and buried his head in his hands when asked a question about the possibility of City winning the title against their neighbours. At one point, he even started lining up the Dictaphones on the desk into a line to keep himself occupied.

Guardiola’s first media briefing at the CFA took place in a small room of around 12 square metres. Fifteen journalists crammed inside. Guardiola looked overwhelmed and uncomfortable, holding himself with his arms across his chest as he spoke. It is not that he has a hatred for the media, he just would prefer to be out on the training pitch. On bumping into this reporter at the CFA recently, he asked with genuine concern: “How are you? What have you been doing? How is your newspaper doing? I read some bad things about jobs in the industry in Spain.”

Ask those in the highest and most influential roles at the club to describe Guardiola in one word and the most common reply is “genius.” But there is little point in having such a brilliant technical mind if you do not have drive and ambition to go with it. Guardiola has both those traits in abundance.

April 1, the day after City had recorded their 27th league win of the season, was designated as a “recovery day” for the players who had taken part in the 3-1 victory away to Everton. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne were told they just had to report for a massage and gym work at the CFA. Those who did not feature at Goodison Park were told to head out to the training pitch. Some managers palm off recovery-day training sessions with squad players to their assistants, but not Guardiola. The Catalan always wants to be in his natural habitat – out on the grass. He was soaked wet through in the torrential rain, bouncing up and down on his feet, animatedly showing Lukas Nmecha, the academy striker, how to attack the box; advising Tosin Adarabioyo, the 20-year-old, on defensive positioning; and encouraging Oleksandr Zinchenko, the young versatile Ukrainian, to try new things.

“The players appreciate that kind of gesture,” one training ground source said.

It is this kind of dedication that makes Guardiola such a popular figure and such a superb coach.

Guardiola’s working day usually lasts around ten hours and he will work six or seven days per week. On a non-match day, the 47-year-old will set off from his £2.7 million flat in the Deansgate area of Manchester city centre at around 8.30 and make the 15-minute drive east to the CFA.

There, he will have breakfast in the canteen in the first-team building with his players and staff. Sometimes Ferran Soriano, City’s chief executive, will join his long-time friend and they will talk about football or politics as they eat some fruit or a bowl of cereal.

After breakfast, the players head to the gym or the massage tables while Guardiola and his many coaches set up the training session that they had meticulously planned the previous afternoon. After a warm-up lead by Lorenzo Buenaventura, the fitness coach, training starts at 11am with a series of “rondos” – a game of keep ball in which six players try to keep the ball away from two tacklers within a box no larger than a few square metres.

The aim is to improve a player’s first touch and passing ability in tight spaces. It is no coincidence that many of City’s goals this season have come from lightning quick one-twos on the edge of the box.

Given how much emphasis there is on their ability to play it out from the back, it will come as no surprise that Ederson and Claudio Bravo, the goalkeepers, take part in the rondos. Such is the speed at which the players flick the ball to each other during this exercise, new signings are said to take a few days to get up to the level of their contemporaries.

Tactical and positional work follows, but sometimes this can be as short as 15 minutes long as Guardiola is wary of over-burdening his players.

Everyone then retreats inside. Guardiola starts planning for the following day while the players have a massage or a swim in the pool before they all convene for lunch. It was not the case in Manuel Pellegrini’s reign, but under Guardiola, it is compulsory for players to have lunch and breakfast at the CFA. Guardiola wants to ensure his players do not gain weight and he insists they stick to a healthy diet of lean meat, vegetables and fish.

Instructing your players to eat two meals per day at the training ground is an abnormal request for professional footballers, but City’s squad do not mind.

“They know it helps create a positive environment,” one official said.

The players go home around 2pm, but Guardiola stays to analyse videos of his own team and the opposition, and plan for the following day.

The players enjoy training much more than they did under Pellegrini. The Chilean’s sessions were more “formulaic” according to one player. Guardiola has made other changes that have been welcomed by the players too. After matches, the squad used to eat at home. Given that some of them live an hour away, players were not often eating their evening meal until late, which was unhealthy. Now they have a meal laid on for them in the players’ lounge at the CFA straight after games. Players can take their meals home with them if they want and they are given cardboard cups of mixed nuts to take away too. And rather than stop in the basic dormitories of the CFA the night before matches, the players now stay at home with their families and travel in on the morning of the match.

“Pep knows that because his players play around 60 times per year – often twice a week – they get very little time with their families,” Martí Perarnau, Guardiola’s biographer says.

“If they stop in a hotel the night before every match, maintaining a good personal relationship with your family is practically impossible. For that reason, he prefers that they stay at home. He started to do it from day one at Barcelona and he kept doing it at Bayern. The Bayern players were surprised to begin with but they liked it a lot.”

Home time for the City boss is around 7pm. Because of his relentless work rate, he only has a short amount of free time, which he likes to spend with his wife Cristina and their three children Maria, Màrius and Valentina. During international breaks and in the summer, Guardiola likes to play golf. He has played several courses in Greater Manchester, one of which is Denton Golf Club, the £700 per year course to the east of the city. He also likes box sets. Last season he used to watch Narcos, the drama series about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and American political series House of Cards.

2) DRESSING ROOM UNITY An unrelenting commitment to hard work is not the only facet required in a title-winning team, of course. “Unless the players are with me, it will not work,” Guardiola tells his staff. Luckily for City, they very much are.

“Harmonious” is an adjective one staff member uses to describe the atmosphere in the dressing room. Another says there is an “egalitarian” feel to the squad. Some of those who have worked for the club for more than a decade say this is the most united group of players they have seen. Senior figures as the club have noted during goal celebrations, there is never one player who breaks away to celebrate on his own. And in the majority of cases, the first thing the goal scorer does after the ball hits the back of the net is turn and point to the team-mate who set him up.

It is fair to say that at times over the past two years, the bond between manager and players has been tested. It is understood that Joe Hart complained before being loaned to Torino at the start of last season that not enough of the squad were speaking English at the training ground. Other players were mystified by the tactics employed in last season’s Champions League last-16 defeat to Monaco. Others questioned why they had to fly to Spain to take part in a friendly against Girona, City’s sister club, which is also part-owned by a company fronted by Guardiola’s brother Pere, in the second week of this season.

Stones and Walker have not kept themselves to themselves in the City dressing room Stones and Walker have not kept themselves to themselves in the City dressing roomAFP Overall this season, however, observers have noted a huge improvement in the togetherness of the squad. It is less cliquey. Guardiola’s staff have spotted that unlike last year, during breakfast at the CFA, the Argentinians (Sergio Agüero and Nicolás Otamendi) will mix with the Portuguese-speaking quintet of Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, Danilo and Bernardo Silva. John Stones and Kyle Walker will break off from Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling to talk to Leroy Sané and Ilkay Gündogan, the German duo.

So why are the squad closer now than they were last year?

There are several reasons. Firstly, players have had time to adapt to their surroundings and working environment. Staff noticed during the pre-season tour of America last summer that Sané’s English had improved dramatically. He got the jokes he did not get last year. He understood the instructions of his team-mates that he did not understand the previous year.

The personality of the signings City made in the summer has also made a big difference. In particular, the players warmed immediately to Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy, the two arrivals from Monaco. Bernardo Silva, the first signing of close season, only started four league games before Christmas, but has much more involved since the turn of the year. He is a popular, happy-go-lucky guy.

“He is always smiling, always laughing, always optimistic,” one colleague says. Bernardo Silva does not mind being on the end of a practical joke either. This season he has been pelted with eggs by his team mates at the CFA, thrown into the swimming pool fully clothed and on another occasion, his colleagues spray painted his shoes black and hung them from the ceiling by the laces. “It’s always Bernardo… always him,” said De Bruyne, the City playmaker.

Mendy, the larger than life left back, has been injured for most of the season, but his impact on morale at the CFA has been profound, not only with regard to the players, but with staff too, from the kit men to the media team to the marketing graduates with whom he was playing beer pong at the Christmas party. Mendy was not drinking (he is teetotal) but he just fancied joining in with staff, many of whom were startled to see the players mixing with everyone else from the club. That was a directive of the manager. At the party, which took place at the Menagerie bar in the city centre, just a stone’s throw from the Lowry Hotel where José Mourinho resides, Guardiola insisted there should be no ropes or barriers separating players from staff. They must mix, which does not happen at some other big clubs like at Manchester United, for example. It is this kind of approach that has made Guardiola’s players feel a sense of belonging; they have a strong affinity for the club and the city. Guardiola wants to create a family environment within the squad. Before they headed to Menagerie in December, the players had their own Christmas party at the CFA. They were encouraged to bring their families. An indoor ice rink was set up for the children. The squad have taken part in other activities together. They regularly play pool in their lounge at the CFA. The Brazilians – Ederson in particular - are on the table most days.

Guardiola took them to the cinema to see La La Land last season. This year Vincent Kompany organised a paintballing trip.

“The squad is like a big family and not only the staff, the coaches, it’s all the people working in the club and I have seen this from the first day,” one player remarked to a friend recently.

The closeness of the squad is no more evident than in times of celebration and there have been plenty of those this season. When City flew to Abu Dhabi a couple of hours after their win over Stoke City last month, the players sang the Kolo Touré/Yaya Touré song during the flight, and another chant about City’s front three to the tune of The Archies’ 1969 release Sugar Sugar. “We’ve got Raz (Sterling), Sané Sané, and we’ve got Agüeroooo,” the lyrics went.

Every victory has been celebrated with songs in the dressing room. The loudest celebrations came after the 1-0 win away to Chelsea. De Bruyne, the match winner, and Delph, delayed their post-match TV interview when they walked off the pitch when they heard strains of “Ooooh Kevin De Bruyne” being sung from within the away dressing room ten yards away.

“Give us a couple of minutes first please, we have to go and celebrate this with our team mates,” De Bruyne said to the TV reporter.

3) THE PLAYERS Hard work and a unified dressing room will only get you so far in a title race. A manager has to have a squad blessed with an abundance of talent playing in the right way to lift the title.

There is an acceptance among the City hierarchy that they have spent a lot of money since Guardiola took over. “I’m a lucky guy,” the City manager said recently when speaking about the financial backing he has received from the board.

Seventeen players have arrived at a total cost of almost £440 million. But for the most part, City have invested their money wisely. Of all the players Guardiola has signed, only Claudio Bravo and Nolito – now at Seville - have not lived up to expectations. City were ridiculed for paying £35 million – a world record sum for a goalkeeper – when they signed Ederson last summer, but now some at the club believe he is worth three times as much. The same goes for Sané, a £37 million signing from Schalke, and Jesus, who cost £33 million.

Although he will never say so in public out of respect to his players, Guardiola did not feel he had the squad at his disposal to win the title last season. He often cut a frustrated figure after games after cursing the lack of quality he had in some areas of the squad, particularly in defence.

Ederson has been superb in the City goal, giving confidence to the rest of the team Ederson has been superb in the City goal, giving confidence to the rest of the teamEPA The improvement in the full back and goalkeeper positions last summer has made City into a title-winning team this season. Guardiola identified the goalkeeper position as a weak point when analysing Hart’s kicking during training sessions in Shenzhen on his first pre-season tour. The England goalkeeper kept putting the ball out of play when trying to chip to Xabier Mancisidor, the goalkeeper coach, who was stationed on the touchline around 30 yards away. Guardiola enquired about signing Manuel Neuer, but Bayern Munich told him he was not for sale. Then they asked about Marc-André ter Stegen, but he had just been made Barcelona’s No 1. Bravo, who had been a first team regular with Barça the previous season, was not a bad third choice, but two or three months into last season, Guardiola reluctantly accepted the Chilean was not up to the task and Txiki Begiristain, the director of football, started the process of signing Ederson, whom they had scouted extensively, from Benfica.

The Brazilian has been outstanding this season. He has the composure and technical ability that Bravo lacked, and he is extremely brave.

Ederson transmits a calmness and confidence to his back four, which is part of the reason why City have conceded the fewest goals in the league.

Full back was another area of concern for Guardiola when he took over.

Guardiola considered buying a pair of new full backs straight away – Héctor Bellerín of Arsenal was sounded out – as he knew the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Gaël Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov and Bacary Sagna were not quick enough, but after a meeting with Soriano and Begiristain two summers ago, he decided against brining two in because he felt it would cause too much upheaval after making six first team signings.

A year on, Walker, Mendy and Danilo joined the club and all four full backs from the previous year departed. All three new signings made a big impression on Guardiola in America, where they beat Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. City’s only defeat came against Manchester United in which Ederson made an almighty gaffe, running out of his area only to be rounded by Romelu Lukaku, but Guardiola did not panic. With Bernardo Silva, three new younger, more vibrant full backs and a confident goalkeeper in his squad, everything was falling into place.

The City manager and his players left their seats to mingle with staff on the flight home from Nashville last July. Songs were sung. “There was a feeling that it was the start of something special,” one staff member said.

Not long into the season, Guardiola felt his decision to buy Walker and Mendy for a combined total of over £100 million was justified, even though the latter suffered a cruciate ligament damage against Crystal Palace in September. By the sixth match of the season, Walker and Mendy had already recorded more assists than Sagna, Zabaleta, Kolarov and Clichy had done between them the previous year.

But it was not just on the attacking front that the new full backs helped improve City. One of the reasons why Guardiola bought Walker and Mendy was because of the impact their presence in the team would have on Sterling and Sané. The previous season, there was a feeling within the City coaching staff that the two wingers were reluctant to get forward because they knew Zabaleta and Clichy would not be able to provide cover if Sterling or Sané lost the ball and the opposition hit on the break. Given Walker and Mendy’s pace, that was no longer the case. Mendy’s injury led to a big hole at left back, but Delph quickly adapted to the position. The England international is known to be one of Guardiola’s biggest fans in the dressing room.

Guardiola does not feel he has been let down by any of his players this season. There are a number who have exceeded expectations, according to those who know him best. David Silva is playing the best football of his career even though he had to go through the trauma of seeing his partner Yessica Suárez give birth to their first son Mateo prematurely in December. Fernandinho’s work rate has been phenomenal, Guardiola’s staff concede. “Without him, none of this would be possible,” Guardiola said recently.

Guardiola told Sterling he should be scoring 20 goals per season when he arrived at the club. This season he has 22, more than double his tally from last season. Agüero, with 30 goals to his name, has impressed his manager. So too has Otamendi, who has played more passes this season than any other in the Premier League.

But the one man who has impressed Guardiola more than any other this season is De Bruyne, the favourite for the Player of The Year award. Ask those in Guardiola’s inner circle why De Bruyne has had such an excellent season and they point to a decision the manager made last summer. In Guardiola’s first season, he formed a four-man senior players’ group, the members of which were Kompany, Fernandinho, David Silva and Agüero. When Kompany was out of the team, the other three shared the captaincy and were seen as the link between the squad and the management.

Last summer Guardiola said: “I want a fifth [member].”

Each player cast a vote. De Bruyne was the overwhelming winner. When the result was announced in front of the squad, De Bruyne was bursting with pride according to those in the room. That was one of the reasons why he signed a new contract in January. He now feels more important, more responsible. He can be seen offering advice to younger players at the CFA. He is an intelligent and humble professional. He has been earmarked as a future club captain. The fact that he speaks four languages helps. “Whoever is talking you can understand them a bit,” he says.

On the pitch, his performances have been outstanding. The jaw-dropping disguised pass into Sané in the build up to City’s sixth goal against Stoke in October will go down as one of the best moves of the season.

There were times last season when De Bruyne was not completely happy. Indeed it was only around 13 months ago that the 26-year-old finally understood what Guardiola wanted from him. “Now I get it. Now I know what he wants from me,” he told friends after the 2-0 win away to Middlesbrough on March 11.

A tactical shift from the flanks to the “free 8” position, as De Bruyne puts it, has helped too. Guardiola first earmarked De Bruyne for a central role, where he has more touches and therefore can do more damage, after studying footage of Belgium’s 8-1 win over Estonia in November 2016. De Bruyne played in a 3-4-3 formation alongside Axel Witsel and set up Dries Mertens for the second goal.

“I watched your match, you can play there,” Guardiola said to De Bruyne when he returned to the CFA. And thus the idea of lining De Bruyne up alongside David Silva and Fernandinho in a three-man midfield was planted in Guardiola’s head. That midfield, possibly the best in Europe, is in no small part responsible for City’s title win and the fact that the team have passed the ball over 6,000 times more than United this season.

HOW LONG WILL THIS LOVE AFFAIR LAST? Guardiola and his agent Josep Maria Orobitg will sit down with Soriano, Begiristain and Al Mubarak in the summer to discuss an extension to his present deal, which expires at the end of next season.

The club are hopeful Guardiola will extend his contract by at least one season. The man himself has not decided what to do. Those who know him best says there is no chance of Guardiola stopping for ten years. That is not the way he operates. His staff have not ruled out extending the deal by 12 months, but Guardiola has genuinely not made his mind up yet. He will wait until the season is over before giving it serious consideration.

What is for sure is that he will be backed in the summer transfer market again this summer. Such is the strength of his present squad that only two players are set to arrive. Guardiola wants a new central midfielder to provide competition for Fernandinho, who turns 33 next month. Jorginho, the Napoli player, and Julian Weigl of Borussia Dortmund, are among a number of candidates being assessed. Guardiola wants to sign an attacker too.

With those improvements, and Guardiola’s drive to succeed, it will surely only be a matter of time before Sheikh Mansour has to clear more room in his office for even more trophies.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/in-depth-the-inside-story-of-how-manchester-city-won-the-premier-league-lswx2k7b8

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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by breva on Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:09 am

Good lord, what a bunch crap.
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Re: Congratulations Man City on winning the PL 2017-2018

Post by nasir6371 on Sun May 13, 2018 5:11 pm

Most Points in a season - Check
100 points - Check
Most goals in a season - Check
Largest ever GD - Check
Most wins in a row - Check
Most wins in a season - Check
Most away wins in a season - Check
Most away points in a season - Check
Largest ever winning margin - Check

:bow: Proud

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