5 players who are proving Guardiola's critics wrong this season
Here is a look at 5 such players who owe Pep Guardiola a large part of the credit either for their discovery or for their rejuvenation.
Very few managers polarise fans of the game to the extent that Pep Guardiola does. There are plenty of fans that admire his management style, and there are some who believe that he is a tad overrated. While it is true that Pep has coached established clubs, it is quite obvious that his sides play a brand of football that several fans find breathtaking.
The 2016-17 season wasn't the best for Pep, and while City did play well in patches, the team failed to achieve its goals. This season, however, has seen renewed vigour in the side, and with younger blood flowing through its veins, the team seems like a force to reckon with.
A common point of criticism of the Guardiola way is that his success and style is facilitated by massive sums of money. He was heavily criticised for spending a whopping £133m on Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy.
While it may be true that Guardiola has made full use of the monetary resources available at the club, there have also been improvements among several players who were previously either unknown or thought to be a waste of money.
It is these players that have been instrumental in Manchester City's scintillating form. In what is turning out to be the start of a promising period for the club, every successful performance by these players further justifies their illustrious coach's methods.
Players like David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have excelled at their roles, but fans were already aware of their full potential and capabilities at the start of the season.
#5 Raheem Sterling
Purchased in 2015 from Liverpool, a lot was expected from Sterling in his first season at Manchester City. The young forward, however, buckled under the weight of expectation and failed to make a mark when played during the campaign.
He soon found himself out of Manuel Pellegrini's lineup and was considered by fans as the worst signing of the season.
Under Pep Guardiola, however, Sterling has undergone a transformation and is seeming an improvement even over the Sterling of Liverpool.
Playing in an advanced and freer role, Sterling has been one of the top performers this season, scoring 7 goals so far, and is second only to Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane in the Premier League scoring charts.
“He's been a massive help, but not just for me, but the other players as well, the whole team," said Sterling, on Guardiola's role in his resurgence. Sterling has quickly gone from being an expensive failure to being one of the current side's crown jewels, and will also be crucial to Manchester City's Champions League dreams this season.
Sterling has also successfully nailed down a place in England's national team and will play an important role in World Cup 2018. The 23-year-old will be crucial to Manchester City's plans for world dominance in the next few years.