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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Manchester City, Chelsea and the fight for excellence

This is not the only conceptual shift he has inspired. When Manchester City started this season without a recognized centre-forward, it was seen not as madness, but as a bold, if somewhat risky, decision; playing with a smooth front three is no longer anathema. The idea that full-backs could switch places with midfielders and act as playmakers was also learned and replicated. He ushered in an era of open-mindedness where, yes, it’s actually possible that goalkeepers could take penalties.

His statistical influence was as great as his stylistic one. Guardiola, as in Spain and Germany, has changed what it takes to become a champion. Put in charge of the most lavish sporting project ever conceived – well, collaborative – and given control of a club that could afford to establish itself as best in class in almost everything it does, Guardiola has shattered our notion of what’s possible.

Unsurprisingly, the four highest points scored in England’s history came during the Guardiola era: two for Manchester City and two for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, the only team that could keep up with the times for a while. A fifth is within reach this year. Each of Guardiola’s title seasons at City has featured several incredible streaks of consecutive wins or unbeaten games.

How much of it depends on him and how much of it depends on the money at his disposal is an ongoing debate, though the fact that he did the same in Spain speaks in his favor: just as he acknowledged Liverpool’s challenge for pushing his team to new heights, there is no doubt that the need to get ahead of Barcelona inspired Real Madrid to reach 100 points in 2012.

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In any case, it became clear that even in order to get close to Guardiola’s Manchester City, the opponent had to be almost perfect. It didn’t happen this year. Liverpool lost ground over Christmas and New Year, a couple of decent draws and a depressing loss to a weakened Leicester City that left Klopp’s team to their fate. Chelsea, if they lose to City on Saturday, will suffer the same fate after a stuttering and stumbling winter.

This may have consequences. If – which seems likely – City pull ahead with the title over the next few months, both Liverpool and Chelsea will reveal their shortcomings, reveal their vulnerabilities and reveal their shortcomings. Players may find that their place on the team is in jeopardy, or their reputation will deteriorate. It is possible that Blues manager Thomas Tuchel at the very least could even find his job in jeopardy if Chelsea finish the season 10 or 15 points behind.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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