• 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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  • Manchester City And Pep Guardiola Should Grow From Disappointing Season

    Throughout a maddening, fleetingly brilliant yet ultimately disappointing campaign for Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has repeatedly emphasised that his team haven’t been strong enough “in both boxes”. They’ve dominated matches, but spurned opportunities to kill them off and gotten duly punished the first time their opponents arrived in their penalty area. Following Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace, Guardiola went a step further. “We create more chances than anyone. We are the best in the league at doing that but we are not always able to score the goals. Apart from one game, at White Hart Lane, I cannot remember a match where we did not create more chances than the other side. The others, no chance. So we are better than all the teams in the Premier League, home and away.” ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Stakes Higher Than Ever For Mourinho And Guardiola Ahead Of Derby

    The prospect of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho going head-to-head for the Premier League title was a mouth-watering one in August, but it hasn’t quite worked out the way either manager would have hoped. They meet again at Etihad Stadium on Thursday, and Guardiola's City side will go for a repeat of their win over Mourinho's United in September. That win put City top of the table, but it is a long time since either Manchester club was in that position. ...

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  • Whiteboard Extra: Raheem Sterling: Underrated or Overrated?

    Underrated, or overrated, depending on who you speak to, Raheem Sterling certainly splits opinion. But the stats show that he’s currently enjoy his best season in terms of attacking output. I’m joined by Alex Stewart to talk about his resurgence under Pep Guardiola, his international hopes, and the swathe of unfair, negative criticism levelled against him. ...

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  • Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola Remind Us What Football Is Really About

    Before and after Chelsea’s pivotal recent clash with Manchester City, there was little indication of a burgeoning rivalry. In the pre- and post-match comments made by the managers, the overarching feeling was one of pure professionalism and respect, even admiration. "My opinion about my colleague (Antonio) Conte is that he's superb," said Pep Guardiola in the build-up to the heavily anticipated match. “He’s an excellent manager, I learn a lot when I see his teams…Maybe he's the best.” ...

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  • Vincent Kompany Rallies Against Injury Nightmare

    It was during a Champions League match against Dynamo Kyiv that things really began to appear serious. Just a few minutes into the first knockout round second-leg, Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany winced, fell to the ground and signalled that he needed to come off. The captain had already missed 27 of City’s 46 games that season and here, just as his comeback was getting underway, his calf problems recurred. At that point, after so many injuries, doubts began to surface about whether Kompany would ever be able to reach his previous levels. ...

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  • Gerónimo Rulli Has Earned His Shot At Man City’s Goalkeeping Gloves

    Perhaps the most curious aspect of Manchester City’s goalkeeping merry-go-round is that the most promising of the goalkeepers they had on their books last summer is the one who hasn’t made an appearance for them this season. In fact, Gerónimo Rulli has never played a game for the Sky Blues and has only ever been on their books for a matter of days. ...

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