For some strange reason, there were many English football fans who seemed almost desperate for Pep Guardiola to fail in the Premier League after he became Manchester City’s new head coach in the summer of 2016.
Guardiola was widely regarded as one of the world’s best coaches but his tiki-taka style of play - don’t tell him that his Barcelona and Bayern Munich sides produced tiki-taka, by the way, because he hates it - wasn’t appreciated by everyone.
And those who weren’t a fan of Guardiola or his style of football were eager to see the revered Catalan coach flop at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola’s first season in England was nothing to shout home about, which provided ammunition for his critics.
He finished the campaign without a trophy, with City finishing third in the Premier League and exiting the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage.
It's a different story this season
This season, however, looks set to be a completely different story.
City are battering everyone in their path and, after 14 matches played, already boast an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
They’re unbeaten and have scored 44 goals, conceding just nine.
Guardiola’s men, as things stand, are also the bookmakers’ second favourites to win the Champions League, just behind Paris Saint-Germain.
Guardiola is silencing his critics
One thing’s for sure: Guardiola is in the process of silencing each and every one of his haters.
The ridiculous term ‘Fraudiola’ was often seen on social media last season. It’s only used ironically now.
What Stan Collymore said about Guardiola in 2016
Stan Collymore never used the word ‘Fraudiola’ but he did write a column in the Mirror 12 months ago which looks pretty daft now.
“I’ve never suggested Pep Guardiola is not a good manager — he obviously is,” Collymore wrote.
“But if he thinks he’s going to turn up and outplay everybody in the Premier League, and that teams like Watford, Leicester, Bournemouth, Southampton and Crystal Palace are going to let his Manchester City side have the ball for 90 per cent of the time and pass pretty patterns around them so they can get a result, then he is absolutely deluded.
“In fact, he is beyond deluded.
“And if he thinks he doesn’t need to teach tackling or one-on-one combat in training then he’ll be going back to Spain with his tail between his legs.”
What Collymore said wouldn't happen *is* happening
City dominating possession and playing pretty patterns around teams like Leicester, Bournemouth, Southampton and Crystal Palace is exactly what’s happening.
Guardiola returning back to Spain with his tail between his legs?
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