Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who has a spent over £380million has been under fire for buying the league rather than working hard towards winning it. The credibilty of that accusation is highly debatable, as it turns out on proper research.
Pep Guardiola has won 21 trophies in his 9 years as a top-flight manager and is one of the best managers in the world right now. City currently sits eight points clear at the top of the table. But with the amount of Arab money at City’s disposal, any manager should have been able to do this, or at least that’s what the trend says.
This isn’t entirely true. The net spend between City and United is only of £44 Million– equivalent to Bernado Silva. And certainly, Bernado Silva isn’t the reason city is eight points clear at the top. Bernado, who was initially seen as a long-term replacement to the 31-year-old City veteran midfielder David Silva, has been more of a backup this season.
Bernardo Silva who signed for City this season after an impressive season at Monaco
City’s massive spending is far from their secret to success
City has a lot of money, but spending money isn’t the only reason for their success this season. The way the money has been utilized is what has set City apart so far this season. When Guardiola splashed £50million on Kyle Walker, who wasn’t even the best right back at Tottenham back then, everyone called him crazy. That much money on a 27-year-old right back who isn’t one of the top 5 in Europe seemed insane. It didn’t seem like a signing which would win them the title. Not even close.
Gundogan wasn’t having a brilliant time at Dortmund when Pep signed him. He has continued to be rusty ever since that back injury happened. Nolito wasn’t a big signing, although he had a great stint with Celta. Sane, with all his talent and promise, wasn’t even 20 when Pep bought him. Not that Sane was from nowhere — he played 50 games for Schalke and his fee was £37m — but he fell into the category of a hot prospect, not a sure-fire winner. John Stones was just another young centre half with talent, not a proven world-class performer, but the performances he’s given this season surely show how much he’s evolved.
Gabriel Jesus is even younger, yet to prove his mettle.When City bought Jesus he was a teenager yet to play a game for Brazil’s senior team and had completed one full season with Palmeiras, winning the league’s best newcomer award. Bernardo Silva came after 1 great season with Monaco, however nobody rates him as one of the top playmakers in the world just yet. Danilo has been extremely unpopular in Madrid at times due to his lackluster performances. Although he is a very good talent, he was not a world class signing, per se.
Buying players that mature into potential title winners is very different from buying the league. It’s called coaching, or development, which is exactly why Guardiola was hired by Manchester City.
City not the only team to spend money this season
The wealth from Qatar behind Paris Saint-Germain has bought Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for record fees; Manchester United have spent £75m on Romelu Lukaku and £90m on Paul Pogba. Guardiola’s most expensive signing is Benjamin Mendy, who will miss most of the season injured and is not a match winner. Jesus cost roughly half of what Arsenal paid for AlexandreLacazette.
Pep’s buys are not guaranteed — but, increasingly, his guidance is making them so. Players that seemed dull are now an integral part of City’s starting eleven. Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Leroy Sane, Fabian Delph are perfect examples. Give any other manager £380m and a squad like Guardiola’s would not have been assembled. It may look now as if Guardiola fell into great fortune, but the same players did not appear world-beaters in Manuel Pellegrini’s final campaign. City were said to be in need of a complete overhaul, and some of the players now eight points clear were thought to be on their way out.
Pep’s effect in attracting players
Guardiola has that appeal which attracts players. Under Manuel Pellegrini, City was snubbed by Isco for Real Madrid. On the other hand, Leroy Sane stated that the reason he’s joining Manchester City is that he wants to learn under Pep Guardiola. Under Pellegrini, City seemed to miss that motivation to win games, as comebacks seemed rare. But under Guardiola, City fight till the end, with many of their late winners coming during the final minutes of the match.
It is certain that Guardiola hasn’t bought the title. He’s crafted a city squad which is capable, intelligent and has lots of depth. But no- he hasn’t done it cheap. Who does it cheap these days?
This weekend Manchester City will face their most fierce rivals. The result of the match will shape a lot of thoughts and views, but it cannot be forgotten that Guardiola has constructed a City side, which previously lacked that spark and motivation to win. Certainly, City is bound to win trophies this season. And they have Pep’s mastermind to thank for this. The likes of Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Tom Dele-Bashiru have a great character to look up to. Manchester City with their current form are being considered to be one of Europe’s most elite teams, a feat which they have never achieved before.