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es, they’re wealthy but it’s pure envy to knock Manchester City’s title march

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es, they’re wealthy but it’s pure envy to knock Manchester City’s title march

Post by blueboy on Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:09 am

There are two ways of looking at Manchester City’s impending title victory. One is that it is the end of the world as we know it, that it is simply not fair, that Pep Guardiola is a fraud waving his chequebook in the faces of impoverished rivals and that City’s money is dirtier than the money that flows into other clubs from the coffers of wholly upstanding billionaires from America, Russia and China.
These are the politics of deflection. They are what happen when one team make the rest look ordinary. They are what happen when envy and resentment kick in and opponents thrash around trying to discredit a club who have just blown them out of the water. They have been beaten by City on the pitch, so all that is left is to try to discredit them off it. With some, it has become an obsession.
Those bitter dissenters will have to forgive me but I subscribe to the second view of City’s triumph this season. I think the trail they have blazed represents a high water-mark for the Premier League. City under Guardiola have set new standards for beautiful football in a single season in the English top flight. What they have done should be cherished. It should be celebrated.

Yes, it would be better if Manchester United and the rest of the chasing pack were closer to City but that is not City’s fault. Maybe some of the rest, particularly Arsenal, Chelsea and United, should look at how they spend their cash and manage their resources and ask themselves some hard questions instead of moaning about oil money.
United, for instance, paid £75million for Romelu Lukaku, who was a pale shadow of Harry Kane in the game against Spurs on Wednesday night. Even for a club as rich as United, there is only so much money you can waste. The same applies to the champions, Chelsea. They paid big, big money for players such as Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata in the summer and so far they have not worked out.
Maybe it is time to stop putting so much energy into trying to smear City’s achievement. There are no paupers in the Premier League and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Many clubs husband their riches with great skill. Others don’t.

Guardiola has spent a lot of money. That much is true. He has spent more than any of his rivals. That is true, too. But look at what he has done with the money. That is the important thing. Look at what he has created. He has brought a style of winning football to the Premier League that we have only dreamed of before, a style that makes Manchester City wonderful ambassadors for our game.
City might point out, by the way, that they need to keep buying new players because the ones they’ve got have developed a nasty habit of being taken out somewhere just below the knee by opposition defenders hell-bent on hobbling them. Raheem Sterling mentioned last week that City’s players are being ‘butchered’ by their rivals.
It was hard to disagree. Some of us who saw City run rings around United in the first half of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on September 10, 2016, early in Guardiola’s tenure at the Etihad, could sense what was coming.

We were mocked for saying that this team could redefine English football but, nearly 18 months on, that is exactly what is happening. City have plenty of work to do before they can be described as the greatest team in English football history but it is now well within their grasp to become the most dominant champions ever. And not just the most dominant. But the best to watch, too.
They are so comfortable on the ball that they are revolutionising our idea of how to succeed in the Premier League. With his range of passing, his ability to control the game, his vision, his movement, his ferocious shooting, his goals, City’s Kevin De Bruyne is the season’s most influential player. In David Silva, the magician who is De Bruyne’s accomplice in midfield, they have the league’s best player.
His subtlety, his elegance and his poise defy the sound and fury of an English 90 minutes. They slow it down. Sometimes, they even pause it so that everything stands still while Silva decides how best to pick you apart. Watching him play is unadulterated joy.

And then there is Sterling with his raw pace, raft of goals and hunger to improve. And Leroy Sane, his foil on the opposite flank. And Sergio Aguero, the master goalscorer. And Gabriel Jesus, the kid waiting to assume the mantle.
But the greatest thing about City is none of these players; it is that they are greater than the sum even of their brilliant parts. They are superb individual players but together, they are even better than that. They are a blur of movement, a feast of technical brilliance, players who play for each other, players who put their team-mates above themselves.
So don’t bother trying to tell me what City have achieved is devalued because they’re richer than you. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. I look at what Guardiola has created, I look at the team he has built, I look at the footballing principles he has instilled, and only one thought crosses my mind: this is a special team; bathe in its beauty while you can.

Oliver Holt

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"How you gonna live your dash?"
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