Say hello to the most talked about football team in the word, Manchester City. Pep Guardiola, in his second stint with the club, has created a force that is hard to overlook.
Nicknamed the “Shark Team” by one of its players, Benjamin Mendy, Man. City has blown all types of opposition away this season. They’ve only lost once in all competitions, and remain unbeaten in the Premier League.
This leads to the question on every mind: Why has Man. City remained unbeaten this season?
A team full of goal scorers
Man. City’s 56 goals is the highest any team has been able to register this season. Only Liverpool (41 goals) come closest to the Citizens on that list. When you look at that number, you’d have thought one player has scored a majority of those goals. Think again.
Sterling (11 goals), Sergio Aguero (10 goals), Gabriel Jesus (8 goals) and Kevin de Bruyne (6 goals) have shown that Man. City’s goals can come from any part of the team. David Silva and Otamendi have even gotten in on the goal scoring acts recently too.
There’s only so much a team can do without the ball possession. Pep Guardiola, knowing this fully well, has set up his side in such a way that they retain possession of the ball for as long as possible. They make their opponents to chase the ball for most of the game, causing them to wear themselves out.
When playing a side that “parks the bus,” they keep passing the ball around until they find that little break. It’s no wonder they’re the side with the highest percentage of ball possession in the Premier League this season.
When you have that much possession of the ball, it is only obvious that there as a whole lot of passes. But it’s not only the sheer volume of passes completed by City but also the quality of those passes.
As of November, their overall passing accuracy was at 89.2%, a figure significantly superior to that of the other five clubs in comparison. The Citizens have averaged 600+ completed passes per game so far this season.
Players like Kevin de Bruyne and Fernandinho
By now, you’ve probably heard the most popular question in the world, “Who will stop City?” Some of the most popular response to that question is an injury to KDB or Fernandinho.
Fans have noticed how important these two players have become to Guardiola’s juggernaut. Manchester City has played without Sterling and Sane and Kun and Jesus, and even Silva. Both the games where they tried to play without these two players, it was difficult to win. See the Carabao Cup semi-final game against Leicester City.
Kevin de Bruyne’s passes, intelligence and how he reads the game has put him in strong contention for the Player of the Season award. And we’re still in December. Pep has singled him out severally for praise and he has even earned himself a pay rise thanks to his amazing performances.
Fernandinho has made sure that the weaknesses in City’s defense are not overly exposed. Bombing forward and backtracking several times in a game has become nothing to the Brazilian midfielder. Whether playing in front of the defense line or in it, the player with the No. 25 jersey always puts it all on the line when playing for the so-called “Nosiy neighbours.”
We may still be in December, but Manchester City is already playing as if this season’s title is done and dusted already. Of course, anything can still happen. But in the mean time, we choose to enjoy the beautiful football that Pep Guardiola and his boys continue to produce every week.
What do you think? Do you think they can go the season unbeaten? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.