Decoding Manchester City's Dominance
The English Premier League is arguably the most followed league on the planet. Especially in India, it has seen a rapid rise in the number of followers in the past decade or so. We are all familiar with the big four- Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Manchester United clearly dominated between 2000-2010, winning six league titles, one FA cup, three League cups, four Community shields, one Champions league and one FIFA Club World Cup. Though this spell of sheer dominance was interspersed with triumphs by Chelsea, it was the blue half of Manchester who in the true sense put a stop to the Red Devils' rampant form.
The noisy neighbours as they are infamously known, surprised everyone by beating their arch rivals and winning the title in the 2011-12 season after 44 years. The side was greatly bolstered by the money coming from the 2008 takeover and they used that money wisely investing in the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure.
After lifting the coveted trophy, City became a constant title contender and part of the top four. They lifted the title once again in the 2013/14 season.
Manchester City has been a delight to watch this season. After 26 games, they sit comfortably at the top of the table with a majestic 69 points, 13 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United. From City's beautiful passing game to their rapid attacking displays in high-scoring matches, they've played like true champions.
Here are a few possible reasons for their dominance this season:
#1 Guardiola's managerial genius
We all know Pep Guardiola's success with top tier teams. Be it dominating the entire world during his time at Barcelona to ruling over the Bundesliga and breaking records with Bayern Munich, he specialises in using a core group of players to create an all-conquering side.
When he was brought in last year, he had a decent first season (according to his lofty standards). After the experience of one season in the Premier League, Pep has come out all guns blazing this campaign. From his tactical superiority to savage press conferences to his sheer animated figure on the pitch, very few managers in the world are working as hard as the Spaniard, and the results are an evident proof of this fact. Guardiola has time and again faced the fires of comparison with Jose Mourinho dating back to their Barcelona and Real Madrid days.
Guardiola's approach with this City side has been minimalistic and simple. They still have nine players from last season and have re-enforced their squad by bringing in new stars. Guardiola believes more in playing like a team rather than containing a squad with egos(ahem ahem Real Madrid). The players seem to trust their gaffer blindly and are on course to winning the title.