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Trust, stability and chats for breakfast: how Guardiola got another title Manchester City


This story of Manchester City the title of triumph, which refers to trust, faith, mutual respect, coordinated work and, above all, excellence. It’s a story of how Pep Guardiola watched what those close to the manager considered his team’s best season, even better than the record-breaking 100-point first title of 2017-18 or last season when he had to reload the side. after a nasty 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich.

It could not have been the happiest end of yesterday without Guardiola’s close relationship with Khaldun al-Mubarak, the chairman with whom he talks before and after each match. Daily breakfasts were held at the gym in the cafeteria area opposite the players, where Guardiola, his number 2 Juanma Lillo, football director Tiki Begiristein, CEO Ferran Sariana and Manuel Estiarte, the closest adviser to Maine, were present.

Constant contact with Mubarak and others makes Guardiola more satisfied than he was when he managed his children’s club, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He was, of course, tired when this season reached its climax, but the 51-year-old admits that City is the perfect place to work. Every morning seeing the inner group, who are also friends, allows you to talk and relax, as well as constantly talk about the team.

Guardiola is a man of high intelligence and sensitivity. The Guardian has been told that the latter characteristic, in particular, is a great strength because it allows a sixth sense regarding its players, its side, the opponent and the sport. But it can also be an Achilles heel because Guardiola can waste valuable energy on intangible issues, and annoyed friends sometimes advise him that it’s counterproductive.

If this season is considered the best in the City for perfection almost from the first to the last whistle, there is a recognition that for Guardiola and his staff the last month was perhaps the most difficult. On April 10, “City” met with “Liverpool” (home draw 2: 2), and then in a guest match of the quarterfinals of the Champions League “Athletics” from Madrid. The Spanish city is hostile to Guardiola – not because of his loyalty to Barcelona, ​​but because of his views on his native Catalonia’s desire to be independent. This made the trip more unbearable (City secured a place in the semi-finals), and three days later the team was at Wembley to play Liverpool again to reach the FA Cup final (they lost 3-2). Then, after three league games (Brighton, Watford and Leeds) and a home semi-final match against Real Madrid, he returned to the Spanish capital.

There City were knocked out after conceding two late strikes by Rodrigo and Karim Benzema’s victory in extra time, yet Guardiola’s team rallied with bitter disappointment to beat Newcastle 5-0 and Wolves 5-1 before a 2-2 draw last weekend at West Ham , keeping Liverpool at arm’s length and setting up Sunday’s Villa win over Aston Villa.

It all depends on how the City is prepared for success, and Guardiola is the coordinator. When sitting on an interview with Fr. Premier League this season’s broadcaster he offered off-camera aside that was indicative of understanding. “They don’t blame me at the club if I lose the game,” the Guardian said. “People come here and ask what can be done to help me more.”

Pep Guardiola with Manchester City football director Tiki Begiristein at a training session in March. Photo: Martin Rickett / PA

Publicly Guardiola’s mantra is that he must win, otherwise his tenure will sound. But, although defeats are hated, it is more important for him how the side acts, because it is a function of stability that he and the club have. City is a very cunning organization that tries to ensure that perhaps the best manager of the generation is given everything to use his strength. It is important that players are not involved without his consent.

Exhibit first. Cristiano Ronaldo was available in August, and Guardiola wanted a proven fruitful finish. First Begiristein and his department evaluated the Portuguese, then the case went to the manager. Guardiola wasn’t sure the 36-year-old was right for the party and so nothing was done. Ronaldo was examined only afterwards an unsuccessful pursuit of Harry Kane as the perfect replacement for the remaining City record-breaker Sergio Aguero. When Tottenham reported that bets should be north of £ 150 million, the club left, and Guardiola stopped the window without the loyal center-forward he wanted. His answer was not to sulk, but to continue working. The result was stunning. City scored 99 goals in the league, five more than Liverpool, and 16 more than they were registered as champions last season.

Exhibit two. Erling Haaland is 21 years old, he is a serial scorer, and was available at a good price from Borussia Dortmund, thanks to a buyout clause of about 60 million euros. The Norwegian’s first choice was Real Madrid, but the Spanish champions chased Kilian Mbape of Paris Saint-Germain but missed out, and Haaland became an option for City. Back to Guardiola. At first he wasn’t sure of his confidence, but came to warm up to the player and covered the deal brought Haaland to the club.

There has been no crisis throughout this campaign. There were (very rare) cases: Guardiola was unhappy with a 1-1 draw in Southampton in January and a 2-0 home defeat by Crystal Palace. But despite failing to recognize No. 9 and losing left-back first-choice defender Benjamin Mendy, who was dismissed indefinitely in August after allegations of rape and sexual assault, the reaction was supreme. There were only three defeats in the league – two from Tottenham – with 26 conceded goals against 32 last season. Twenty-three – in 2018-19 – is the only minor result under Guardiola.

The form of Aymeric Laporte (left), who is fighting here with Mohamed Salah, has paid off Pep Guardiola’s faith in the defender.
The form of Aymeric Laporte (left), who is fighting here with Mohamed Salah, has paid off Pep Guardiola’s faith in the defender. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP / Getty Images

He was shrewd in other ways. Aymeric Laporte was restored along with Ruben Diaz in central defense after Guardiola noticed the subtle decline of John Stones, who was sacked despite his excellent form last season. Laporte proved to be almost flawless.

Liverpool struggled to keep up with 14 points, but Guardiola remained calm and confident. The serenity of his work environment is reflected in the satisfaction he gets from a group of players, which of course pleasantly surprised him because despite the fact that many have been working under him for five years or more, there is no fatigue from fighting. They continue to “run and run” rather than satisfied and take personal responsibility for any decline in performance.

The end result: the fourth championship in a remarkable six years in East Manchester at a club built to ensure that Guardiola can make the most of his genius. That’s why Manchester City became the English champions again.


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