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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:24 am 
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Not my words. This article was published on ESPN

http://www.espn.com/soccer/english-cara ... h-football

To paraphrase a popular co-commentary cliche: if anything, Manchester City are actually playing too well.

With the Premier League title wrapped up weeks -- if not months -- ago, the genuine brilliance of Pep Guardiola's side has almost been overlooked: there's no tension, no intrigue, no will-they-or-won't-they debates going into the run-in. They win so frequently it's almost become dull, and yet the manner of their football is anything but. Manchester City will win the Premier League this season, and they'll probably win the Carabo Cup on Sunday, too. And they will do it with a style of football never previously seen in England.

The Premier League is traditionally considered the most physically demanding league in Europe: cold weather, boggy pitches, lenient refereeing, no winter break. It's an absolute slog, a gruelling, inhospitable environment for flair players, who often start the season exceptionally well before struggling after Christmas because they're simply exhausted, running on empty by the spring. In truth, that probably won't matter for Guardiola's men anyway, such is their incredible advantage in the Premier League table.

But we should be appreciating the fact that Guardiola has achieved something remarkable: winning the Premier League without any concession in his style of play, without taking a backwards step and introducing an enforcer, a little extra midfield steel. Guardiola's Manchester City will win the Premier League with a three-man midfield featuring a box-to-box player and two natural No. 10s, something no one would have dreamt of before his arrival in England in 2016.

Guardiola's rival in the Carabo Cup final, Arsene Wenger, was once considered the manager who popularised flair football, and yet his successful sides always featured two physical, sturdy central midfielders to allow an attacking quartet to shine. Patrick Vieira was a consistent presence throughout his title wins in 1998, 2002 and 2004, forming particularly strong partnerships with Emmanuel Petit and Gilberto Silva, pure defensive midfielders who helped dominate the centre ground. When Wenger has moved away from that model, things have generally gone awry.

It's worth remembering that David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne were both considered, before Guardiola's arrival, natural No. 10s. Silva was perfectly capable of drifting inside from a wider position, and De Bruyne's energy and crossing ability means he could play wide right too. But they were essentially No. 10s, players who needed the entire side built around them, with two deep, positionally disciplined defensive midfielders behind.

Guardiola, though, wasn't having any of that. To play one as a No. 8 would have been a relatively solid strategy; you'd surely need a proper box-to-box midfielder like Fernandinho alongside him, and a solid defensive midfielder behind. But Guardiola's decision to play them both as No. 8s was remarkable, and the fact they worked so effectively in those positions is a testament to his organisational skills and man-management ability: the former ensuring City's structure in possession is always solid to prevent quick counterattacks when the ball is lost, the latter convincing Silva and De Bruyne to get stuck in like never before.


David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne Tom Flathers/Man City via Getty Images
But even their midfield colleague, Fernandinho, is not a proper defensive midfielder. With Shakhtar Donetsk, he was a box-to-box player, attracting attention with his storming runs into the opposition penalty area. He took time to adjust when signed by City and asked to play alongside Yaya Toure, and it's worth remembering that Fernandinho was often exposed and isolated because Toure, a former defensive midfielder himself, didn't offer him enough protection.

If Fernandinho couldn't play behind Toure comfortably, surely he couldn't play behind even more attacking players like Silva and De Bruyne comfortably. On paper it simply didn't work. But through a combination of good possession play, a solid structure, integrated pressing and a high defensive line, any midfield weaknesses without the ball have barely been noticeable.

Arsenal also serve as a useful comparison for accommodating creative No. 10s. Wenger now finds himself, perhaps unexpectedly, with a dilemma involving how to accommodate two players in that mould, after Mesut Ozil signed a new long-term contract and Henrikh Mkhitaryan arrived from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez.

Wenger has tried to use them together in a 4-2-3-1, but also in a 4-3-3 -- the same system City use. But at Tottenham, Wenger fielded Ozil and Mkhitaryan in the two wide roles. That's fair enough, they're the logical positions to use them in -- maybe the only positions he could use him in. But make no mistake: De Bruyne is no more of a central midfielder than Mkhitaryan, Silva no more so than Ozil. All four players are No. 10s. But whereas Wenger shoved his two out wide, Guardiola has dragged them deeper to provide creativity from deep.

What is this? Is it football from the future? Let's hope so, because while the Premier League has put rather too much focus upon aggression and physicality dominated by pressing -- both historically and in the past few years -- Guardiola is preserving the balance and providing an alternative, showing you can succeed with technical possession football, with attacking players brought deeper.

English football is generally suspicious of too much technical quality, yet we should be delighted that Guardiola is succeeding in this manner: English football's greatest failure of this century is the inability to get Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard playing together cohesively in midfield for the national team. English football likes driving, attacking midfielders in that manner, and Guardiola is showing how to use two in tandem.

So why shouldn't England follow suit? Does the national team have to opt for defensive, disciplined midfield options when Guardiola has shown you can use two No. 10s brought back into a midfield three? Can they use Dele Alli and Adam Lallana in those positions, rather than using one out wide, getting their best technical players into the midfield zone where they have few other options?

Perhaps that's a step too far. But Guardiola's presence in the Premier League is a huge asset to English football. Having revolutionised Spanish football and German football, he's now doing the same thing here. It would be a huge waste if his methods didn't inspire others.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:59 am 
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Gerrarra hia wit dis rabbish. Dude has spent $700m on players. Any coach can win with that budget.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:05 am 
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the lil bebitsh didn't win jack in the first season..after $900M and others pennypinching he rises up...abeg make we hear word...how many coaches get their #1 target in every position?Make we hear word joor...why he no revolutionalize CL when he had Bayern?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:01 am 
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EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Gerrarra hia wit dis rabbish. Dude has spent $700m on players. Any coach can win with that budget.

The article, which I’m sure you didn’t read, was talking about his use of KDB, Silva and Fernandinho. All were at the club when he arrived.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:13 am 
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cic old boy wrote:
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Gerrarra hia wit dis rabbish. Dude has spent $700m on players. Any coach can win with that budget.

The article, which I’m sure you didn’t read, was talking about his use of KDB, Silva and Fernandinho. All were at the club when he arrived.

And he won jack until he shelled more money. Abeg CIC i dey always enjoy your take on this matter...but this article still talks nonsense. How is he using them now that he did not use them last season? But we know he bought new players to plug where they were leaking last year. The article may wax lyrical about how he is using those players now, but without acknowledging the hefty transfer bills, it is telling the truth by half. Yes he has brought something to the EPL, but it ain't nothing that money cannot buy or fix.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:26 am 
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cic old boy wrote:
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Gerrarra hia wit dis rabbish. Dude has spent $700m on players. Any coach can win with that budget.

The article, which I’m sure you didn’t read, was talking about his use of KDB, Silva and Fernandinho. All were at the club when he arrived.

So the use of certain players amounts to "revolutionizing" the league? :rotf: We all know Yujam has got hid head so far up anything Spanish and his hatred for the EPL os not hidden.
What is revolutionary is Pepe Le Peu's spending.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:37 am 
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let him surpass Mancini and Peligrini first. If he doesn't win the champions league he really hasn't done anything that hasn't been done before.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:47 am 
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Abeg, make everybody go siddown...

Pep deserves all the accolades right now...
Last season, the knives were out for him, and he was a "failure" who won nothing despite all the cash spent...

Now, he's won something, and "it's no big deal" because he spent all that cash..?

Abeg, someone should tell us where the truth lies...

All I know is Man City is dominating this season in an unprecedented manner (in a season against 5 rival managers acknowledged as amongst the global best), and the credit must be given to Pep...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:48 am 
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oloye wrote:
And he won jack until he shelled more money. Abeg CIC i dey always enjoy your take on this matter...but this article still talks nonsense. How is he using them now that he did not use them last season? But we know he bought new players to plug where they were leaking last year. The article may wax lyrical about how he is using those players now, but without acknowledging the hefty transfer bills, it is telling the truth by half. Yes he has brought something to the EPL, but it ain't nothing that money cannot buy or fix.

My guy Oloye, let’s not fall for the easy answer of spending without context.

The key players for City this season have been Ederson, Otamendi, KDB, Silva, Aguero and Sterling. Only Ederson was bought by Guardiola of those 5. He spent big on 2 fullbacks – Walker and Mendy. Mendy played about 6 or so games b/4 getting injured. His replacement Delph has made a significant contribution, was not bought by Guardiola and isn’t even a fullback. Walker was an expensive signing. All he offers is pace and energy, but he is practically brainless and his final ball is woeful. I think he cost a lot for 2 reasons – b/c he is English and b/c the price goes up when the Arabs come calling. No way is he a £50m player. So spending big doesn’t necessarily mean buying quality. Other Guardiola signings such as Bernardo Silva and Gundoghan are average players with mixed results in terms of contributions. Sane has grown this season, but he is still work in progress.

Why did Pep win jack last season? There are 2 reasons in my view. The players needed time to take in his methods (as an ex footballer you should know that how they play takes a lot of practice) and he inherited an ageing squad – Yaya, Kolarov, Sagna, Clichy were all past their best.

If spending money explains City’s dominance, then Manure should be almost as dominant. They have spent nearly as much, only to play disjointed and uninspiring football.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:49 am 
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airwolex wrote:
let him surpass Mancini and Peligrini first. If he doesn't win the champions league he really hasn't done anything that hasn't been done before.

I doubt if they have the quality to win the CL.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:57 am 
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pajimoh wrote:
So the use of certain players amounts to "revolutionizing" the league? :rotf: We all know Yujam has got hid head so far up anything Spanish and his hatred for the EPL os not hidden.
What is revolutionary is Pepe Le Peu's spending.

Yujam didn't write the article. Whether it's "revolutionary" or not, the use of one DM is something that only Barca and maybe Bayern risk. We were all told that you can't play like Barca in England and City are doing it and running away with the league. We were told that Messi won't score as many goals in England, but Sterling is flying.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:17 am 
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FATHER TIKO wrote:
Abeg, make everybody go siddown...

Pep deserves all the accolades right now...
Last season, the knives were out for him, and he was a "failure" who won nothing despite all the cash spent...

Now, he's won something, and "it's no big deal" because he spent all that cash..?

Abeg, someone should tell us where the truth lies...

All I know is Man City is dominating this season in an unprecedented manner (in a season against 5 rival managers acknowledged as amongst the global best), and the credit must be given to Pep...

Amen!
Every Sunday I pray for good soccer, only Pep's team, delivers consistently. :D

How much has Jose spent at ManU and what has he done to show for it?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Nothing tangible in the article that talks about revolutionizing.
Pep is not the first manager to win things by moving one or two players to another role, and he shall not be the last.
He did it with Bayern, playing a fullback Lahm in midfield, but such situations are more a testament of the brilliance of the players involved in executing such daring tactics.

In this case i would like to pay tribute to Fernandinho, a great midfield player who does 3 jobs at once with so much ease.
He creates from deep lying positions, he is the main defensive midfielder and is also a centre back, he is the one who makes it easier for Pep to play Kevin and Silva in central midfield.
Credit to Pep for harnessing so much talent.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:22 pm 
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oloye wrote:
cic old boy wrote:
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Gerrarra hia wit dis rabbish. Dude has spent $700m on players. Any coach can win with that budget.

The article, which I’m sure you didn’t read, was talking about his use of KDB, Silva and Fernandinho. All were at the club when he arrived.

And he won jack until he shelled more money. Abeg CIC i dey always enjoy your take on this matter...but this article still talks nonsense. How is he using them now that he did not use them last season? But we know he bought new players to plug where they were leaking last year. The article may wax lyrical about how he is using those players now, but without acknowledging the hefty transfer bills, it is telling the truth by half. Yes he has brought something to the EPL, but it ain't nothing that money cannot buy or fix.



Oloye, English clubs are all rich, what's stopping the others from doing similar? Let's not act like it's all about the money. The man is winning without a DM, playing a host of attacking talent all at once, and doing it well. How has money helped Chelsea? Man United?
Oh, what about Arsenal who try playing attacking football with no DM, how great does Arsenal look?

When Pep arrived, read all the threads on this forum, many wanted him to fail so they could brag about how the PL does x and y to managers. He has done to England what he did to Spain and Germany arguably with the worst squad of all three stops.

The money helps but he's facing sides who have deep pockets too. City isnt buying ALL the players in the world and leaving none for the rest. Others have their basket of cash too. Why are they not doing what Pep has done?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:23 pm 
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cic old boy wrote:
pajimoh wrote:
So the use of certain players amounts to "revolutionizing" the league? :rotf: We all know Yujam has got hid head so far up anything Spanish and his hatred for the EPL os not hidden.
What is revolutionary is Pepe Le Peu's spending.

Yujam didn't write the article. Whether it's "revolutionary" or not, the use of one DM is something that only Barca and maybe Bayern risk. We were all told that you can't play like Barca in England and City are doing it and running away with the league. We were told that Messi won't score as many goals in England, but Sterling is flying.


The use of one DM is revolutionary?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:32 pm 
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CIC,

Bros if Pep does not win the CL then all this talk about revolution will be a thing of the past. Remember only a few weeks ago Spastic as saying they are the best EPL team ever. After losses to Liverpool and Wigan I think we can now safely say they are not.

Kudos to Pep though he is a great coach. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:42 pm 
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airwolex wrote:
CIC,

Bros if Pep does not win the CL then all this talk about revolution will be a thing of the past. Remember only a few weeks ago Spastic as saying they are the best EPL team ever. After losses to Liverpool and Wigan I think we can now safely say they are not.

Kudos to Pep though he is a great coach. :clap: :clap: :clap:


That's the barometer for Guardiola. UCL. It was same in Germany.

His test starts from the quarter finals of Europe's strongest tournament. The league wins are cup wins, those are garbage, no one cares about that.

That's what Pep is up against. Bruv, that's the sign of an all time great manager.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:43 pm 
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Na real revolution.

If it was winning Championships, Sir Ferguson did nothing.
Spending huge bucks, Jose did nothing
Playing good football, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, SPURS and Liverpool didn't do any of that before Pep joined the league.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:50 pm 
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balo wrote:
Na real revolution.

If it was winning Championships, Sir Ferguson did nothing.
Spending huge bucks, Jose did nothing
Playing good football, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, SPURS and Liverpool didn't do any of that before Pep joined the league.



Did you read the article or you're just guessing and playing to the gallery? :rotf:

Diaper duty don scramble your mind. How's our baby?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:52 pm 
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platinum wrote:
balo wrote:
Na real revolution.

If it was winning Championships, Sir Ferguson did nothing.
Spending huge bucks, Jose did nothing
Playing good football, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, SPURS and Liverpool didn't do any of that before Pep joined the league.



Did you read the article or you're just guessing and playing to the gallery? :rotf:

Diaper duty don scramble your mind. How's our baby?



Baby is a handful, but loving the experience. Thanks for asking. As for the article, I saw the subject, and the poster and I went to town with that. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:55 pm 
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platinum wrote:
oloye wrote:
cic old boy wrote:
EMIR KONGI JAFFI JOFFA wrote:
Gerrarra hia wit dis rabbish. Dude has spent $700m on players. Any coach can win with that budget.

The article, which I’m sure you didn’t read, was talking about his use of KDB, Silva and Fernandinho. All were at the club when he arrived.

And he won jack until he shelled more money. Abeg CIC i dey always enjoy your take on this matter...but this article still talks nonsense. How is he using them now that he did not use them last season? But we know he bought new players to plug where they were leaking last year. The article may wax lyrical about how he is using those players now, but without acknowledging the hefty transfer bills, it is telling the truth by half. Yes he has brought something to the EPL, but it ain't nothing that money cannot buy or fix.



Oloye, English clubs are all rich, what's stopping the others from doing similar? Let's not act like it's all about the money. The man is winning without a DM, playing a host of attacking talent all at once, and doing it well. How has money helped Chelsea? Man United?
Oh, what about Arsenal who try playing attacking football with no DM, how great does Arsenal look?

When Pep arrived, read all the threads on this forum, many wanted him to fail so they could brag about how the PL does x and y to managers. He has done to England what he did to Spain and Germany arguably with the worst squad of all three stops.

The money helps but he's facing sides who have deep pockets too. City isnt buying ALL the players in the world and leaving none for the rest. Others have their basket of cash too. Why are they not doing what Pep has done?


But Chelsea won the title comfortably last season, many can also point out Chelsea under Mourinho's first stint as a bit of a turning point in EPL but it's debatable.

What really stands lit for me this season is how the rest of the big clubs have been stuttering, Chelsea can perform better, Liverpool can do better, United can do better, Spurs had Wembley to deal with, but it's more if how these other teams have struggled to where they should not have been struggling.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:57 pm 
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balo wrote:
platinum wrote:
balo wrote:
Na real revolution.

If it was winning Championships, Sir Ferguson did nothing.
Spending huge bucks, Jose did nothing
Playing good football, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, SPURS and Liverpool didn't do any of that before Pep joined the league.



Did you read the article or you're just guessing and playing to the gallery? :rotf:

Diaper duty don scramble your mind. How's our baby?



Baby is a handful, but loving the experience. Thanks for asking. As for the article, I saw the subject, and the poster and I went to town with that. :mrgreen:


:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Babies no get care in the world, dia own na to chop, and make sure their parents are drained of all energy. One day they'll have their own kids and you will smile when you see them handle it all. Best health to all of una.

The article raised a salient point about the style Pep has brought. Michael Cox, who wrote it, is not the run of the mill pandering writer, he knows his onions.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:13 pm 
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:lol: Conte came and won the EPL first season with a team that struggled to make top 10 we did not hear any noise,they said Pep's players were bedding in and finding their feet.

I shun unneccesary debates, but if you spend that obscene money and you dont win something ...sorry there is no need blowing kakaki trumptet winning something on the second try after even spending more.

I wont take anything away from him,but please reduce the noise level about him revolutionising EPL. Ki lo se ti enikan o se ri?
What exactly has he done that no one is yet to do? Even if he wins the champions league...so what even Di Matteo won it with Chelsea.

Ever since blogging became a lucrative job we have been bombarded by all manner of rushed conclusions.

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