• Why Rotation Might Now Be Key To Manchester City’s Success

    When the flashes of collective brilliance and two hefty hints at an exciting new direction are weighed up against the rest of Pep Guardiola’s inaugural season at Manchester City, we still see the scales tip heavily towards disappointment. There were simply too many individual errors, draws snatched from the jaws of victory, and insipid performances that reduced an expensively-assembled team to amateur chaos for 2016/17. Limping through with four full-backs past their prime doesn’t excuse the woeful chances-created to chances-taken ratio mask it. ...

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  • Beaten-Back Foes Return to Challenge Pep Guardiola

    If there was only one proper way to play a game of football then the world’s most popular sport would never have conjured up such a broad, intense following. Variety and volatility is what makes it all so engrossing. Trends emerge and fade, fashions change, and as soon as one idea has risen up to reign over the landscape at the highest level a response is already being developed to bring it all down. It is an ongoing argument that can never be settled although success can convince people otherwise. Take the extended run of success enjoyed by Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Jadon Sancho The Latest Youngster To Value Football Over Finance

    According to the Independent, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are circling with interest after contract talks between Jadon Sancho and Manchester City broke down, throwing his future into doubt. Sancho was dropped from the City squad that flew out to the United States for their pre-season tour on Monday despite initially being pencilled in to feature for Pep Guardiola’s side because he has still not signed his new City deal. ...

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  • Ilkay Gundogan: Could Manchester City’s ‘New Signing’ Be Pivotal In 2017/18

    It is rare for a club to sign an injured player and especially when that injury is a dislocation of the patella. Fractures fuse back together and hamstrings heal but a kneecap dislodging itself from its patellofemoral groove is a trauma that can, and often does, lead to further complications. That is true for a coach potato, whose post-rehabilitation exercise consists of a short stroll to the fridge. When the sufferer in question is a finely tuned athlete; whose remit is to twist and turn, perform 120 intense actions or sprints per game, and all the while competing in the brutal, uncompromising environs of a Premier League midfield then, well, you do the math. ...

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  • Bernardo Silva Will Prove The Bargain Of Manchester City’s Summer

    For most of the Benfica squad it was a training session like any other, but for Bernardo Silva it was an epiphany. "When they put me training at left-back at Benfica I realised I had no future at the club,” he told L’Equipe last year. “He [Benfica coach Jorge Jesus] told me that there were a lot of players in my position, that they were all in front of me in the hierarchy.” ...

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  • Why Girona Could Be A Manchester City B Team In All-But-Name

    With hindsight it was inevitable that Manchester City’s owners would eventually look beyond the rainy metropolis to the limitless opportunities available around the globe. It was presumably always part of their plan and empires after all are not built on doorsteps. ...

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  • Kelechi Iheanacho’s Stagnation Shows Manchester City’s Cluttered Pathways

    In recent years, the language of marketing and public relations has bled into football discourse. It had always been there in the background, erupting onto the surface with the announcement of a new sponsorship deal or kit launch, but now it has begun to influence the way we talk about footballers and the game that they play. Tactical ideas have become “philosophy”, dealings on the transfer market fall under “recruitment” and young players being given a chance in the first-team represents a “pathway”. ...

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  • Dani Alves Would Represent A Coup For Manchester City

    Ahead of this year’s Champions League final, Dani Alves participated in a feature for The Players' Tribune - the sports website established by former New York Yankee Derek Jeter which publishes articles written exclusively by professional athletes - and regaled the story of his career to date. The least surprising passage of the piece involved his thoughts on Pep Guardiola, whom he worked alongside at Barcelona. ...

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  • Why Nicolas Otamendi Can Save Manchester City A Small Fortune This Summer

    There are few more fascinating footballers in the Premier League than Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi and in an increasingly homogenised sport his refusal to be pinned down to a type is something that should be cherished. At first, second, even third glance he is a thoroughly modern defender, unflinchingly on the front foot, proactive over reactive as he anticipates danger with one eye already on calmly recycling possession. Yet conversely there is also a clear relish to each and every challenge undertaken, a combative nature that evokes the centre-back bouncers of yesteryear with scars for laughter lines. ...

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  • The Premier League’s Super Managers Have Been Excused The Usual Pressure. For Now

    At the beginning of the season, much of the talk centred on the march of the managers. The Premier League might not have the players to necessarily compete with the best at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid but the managers were plenty. More than any season in recent memory, this was to be a campaign characterised by battles between many of the games leading tacticians. ...

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