Guardiola’s success

The uniqueness of this team is incredibly simple: they guarantee a spectacle because they play football at the edge of human capabilities. Behind the skill, ease of opening opponents and waves of unconventional decisions, athleticism and stamina are often hard to spot, but without them, City would not be itself.

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These endless openings and jerks in search of free zones. This crazy pressure that causes the opponent to feel claustrophobic when they are strangled from all sides and deprived of any options. The only thing is to give the ball away. Moreover, the pressure does not weaken after 20-30-40 minutes, but lasts exactly as long as needed. It’s like Pep has started a robotic vacuum cleaner and it runs back and forth until it completes the program.

This Man City is really programmed. All phases of the attack are drawn to the millimeter, everyone on the field perfectly understands the plan: where and at what speed to run, where to stop or make a false movement, where and how much to take the opponent away. And they know that it will definitely bring results. Failed in this attack? Okay, there will be dozens more. Didn’t work again? It’s okay, we’ll be stubborn until the pass slips through the bottom or the cross drops to the right point. And it will definitely happen.

They trust each other so much that they could move the ball blindfolded. Under this pressure, the opponent dissolves.

This is science

It’s not even football. This is science. And it will not be FIFA or UEFA that will evaluate its structure, but the Nobel Committee.

This attack design speed, these touchdown passes, these decisions that you don’t expect and that turn the moment in a split second. You get pleasure from even seemingly mournful things: how they create a numerical advantage in any zone where the ball ends up, or from passes between the lines and behind the backs of the defenders. Everything is so timely and so smooth that it is impossible to break away.

And yes, they are not robots. They don’t care about the game. Here is Haaland waving his arms angrily when he beats Courtois on the corner of the goalkeeper’s area and rolls out into the center of the penalty area, and there is no one to score in the empty ones. Here is De Bruyne screaming and frowning when he sees that someone is late with a pass to the flank. Here Guardiola turns on the fans after another goal and just enjoys the team. And she goes to score more and more. Tireless, stubborn and, probably, somewhat narcissistic.

So, what?

Alvar Aalto, Finland’s greatest architect, said: “When creating a window, imagine that your beloved girl is looking out of it.”

That’s how Pep builds this Man City.

With great love.

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