2018/2019 Manchester City: Records are meant to be broken

teddykgb

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Jul 16, 2005
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City won the Community Shield today, which is a real trophy that counts when you win it and is a complete joke for everyone else. Really it was just a glorified friendly against Chelsea (who looked rough -- I love Sarri but as I said they need to change 5 or 6 players to play his system) and City looked much like the team that broke all the records last season in spite of most of the first teamers only joining training this week.

The offseason has been quiet. Mahrez and Jorginho seemed to be the targets to improve the squad. Mahrez finally got done, Jorginho supposedly was done but it looks like Napoli and the player just strung it along until Sarri went to Chelsea and routed him there for more money. It was a strange deal but these things happen.

I think the question that is suggested by moving for Jorginho is more of a tactical one. Mendy returns this season after being out basically all of last season. The only blip on City's radar was continued struggles against Liverpool. On the whole, City played well against Liverpool and were quite unlucky with some individual decisions in the matches that mattered. But in each match City lost, there were 20 minute flurries where Liverpool were able to engage their press and pounce for goals. There are small margins at the level City is aiming for and Pep's biggest challenge aside from motivating a group who just won almost everything is finding a way to cope with teams who can engage a press. In my view, Jorginho was probably coming in to both spell Fernandinho, who is getting on in age, but also to deploy as a double pivot in these matches. With Mendy returning, City can play either a 3 at the back formation with wing backs or play 4-2-x-x and let the full backs bomb forward to provide width. In general, Liverpool was choking off the passing supply deep in City's territory and adding another deep lying player with the ability to handle pressure and hit a long ball over the top were likely to be key tactical options Guardiola wanted to add. There are mild rumors that City are looking back at other DMs and so maybe something gets done before the season starts although time is running out and there are few concrete links.

This season shapes up to be very similar to the last with a lot of tactical flexibility and a deep set of options. Mendy is practically a new signing and will bomb up and down the left hitting in tantalizing crosses which is an option City lacked last season. It seems that a young midielder from England, Phil Foden, is going to stay with the senior team full time. He faces a difficult challenge to get into a side at CM with De Bruyne, David Silva, Gundogan, and now Bernardo Silva entering the mix. Mahrez/Sterling/Sane figure to rotate 3 for 4 spots with Bernardo probably playing there a bit as well. Jesus signed a new deal and will compete with Aguero. CB is at this point incredibly deep with Kompany, Otamendi, Stones and Laporte. City can play Sane and Sterling and maintain width in a 4-3-3 or move to a 2 striker formation and let the full backs provide width now, so I expect we'll see more Guardiola tinkering.

The focus this season will of course be to defend the title but the CL remains the elusive prize and I suspect City will try to rotate more this season than last to maximize CL chances. If a DM isn't signed, then managing Fernandinho's minutes to have him able to play in the CL knockouts will be a priority. It'll be important for Guardiola to find a way to steal matches and give him a rest as he played far too much last season.

On the youth front, the pre season featured a bunch of them and there's the usual optimism when a young player doesn't embarass themselves. City have poached a few big talents in the last few years and they are starting to sit at the periphery of the first team. Claudio Gomes came over from PSG, Garcia from Barcelona had a fantastic pre season, Foden and Brahim Diaz are knocking on the door as well. Behind them are a few more like Bernarbe and Garre but all City youth are facing a very difficult task of breaking into a very loaded first team.

In the end, it's a shame Liverpool has already won the title before a ball has been kicked because I'd love to see this City team come back and repeat with a strong effort. PL Champions have really struggled to maintain the level the next season and I hope City can buck the trend.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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Fuuuuuuuck.

I mean, I think City has the depth to wait this one out, but he’s just such a joy to watch.

Edit: also, quoting the sun is generally no bueño
Sorry! What's wrong with the Sun, totally ignorant here, I must admit.
 

teddykgb

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Losing De Bruyne is a big blow and may be a huge difference in terms of finding a goal in a match where City are struggling. KDB plays a few balls a match where one touch makes a goal.

In another note, I typically roll my eyes at the stories about players in any sport having a surgery or losing weight or whatever and claiming they’re back to their prime self but Aguero supposedly had an operation to clean up a nagging knee injury and he looks a decade younger. He’s rapid again and giving defenders fits. If he can stay healthy he’s going to score a shit load
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Jul 2, 2006
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Looks like City will get hit with the same two window transfer ban that Chelsea is facing. I'm sure they will appeal, delay the ban, and then buy a bunch of players the summer beforehand, following the playbook of Real and Atleti.

 

swiftaw

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Jan 31, 2009
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It’ll be interesting because Chelsea asked for a delay during the appeal and were denied.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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City may also be facing sanctions over FFP shenanigans .. I doubt they get off with just a minor fine this time. There was talk they may be banned from the CL ( see above). Even the Premier League was getting into the action - that is the sort of thing that could lead to a points reduction ( I find that hard to believe and highly unlikely)
 

teddykgb

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Jul 16, 2005
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