When Manchester City announced that Pep Guardiola would be their manager in February, it seemed like the club finally achieved something they had been working steadily towards the last few seasons.
If the recruitment of Guardiola’s former Barcelona colleagues Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, and the establishment of a £200 million state-of-the-art academy was a signal of intent, Guardiola’s appointment is the final piece of the portrait that depicts Manchester City’s bright future.
Or so it would seem.
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He might be a world-class coach, but it could be said that people who back him to succeed haven't truly grasped the magnitude of the task ahead of him.
Firstly, right of the bat, he inherits an imbalanced team full of players in the twilight of their careers.
Their defence is heavily reliant on Vincent Kompany, who has spent a considerable amount of time on the treatment table.
Aleksandar Kolarov, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, and Gael Clichy are all into the third decade of their lives, and with Guardiola still out shopping for attackers, you wonder whether this issue will be addressed.
The club have improved their midfield with the purchase of Ilkay Gundogan, but he is injury prone and has struggled for regular football during the past few seasons for Borussia Dortmund and Germany.
In a league renowned for its physical style of play, he is a gamble, and the last thing Manchester City need is another player who spends more time with the doctor than the coach.
Admittedly, the club has an embarrassment of riches in attack, so much so that trying to outscore the opposition in every game is a viable plan. A combination of inconsistency and injuries has let the club down on several occasions though.
This is the first time Guardiola will have to divide his attention equally between Europe and the league, owing to the high level of competition. You could even say he has never faced opposition of such high quality on regular basis.
Lastly, the Premier League sides have a reputation of throwing the proverbial monkey wrench into the best laid plans. Guardiola’s ability to adapt will be tested to the limit.
Success in Spain and Germany means no guaranteed success in England, and that's something that should concern Guardiola.
How will Pep Guardiola cope in his debut season? Comment YOUR predictions below!
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