Varchester City 18/19 discussion

Bergman

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Couldn't find at 2018/19 thread. Mods feel free to move it to the relevant thread. Anyway...

Been arguing with a friend about the title race in the upcoming season. The general consensus is that City are favourites whilst I agree, My argument is that they are far from a perfect team despite what the 100 points suggest.

They aren't nearly as good as the Bayern team from 15/16. That team would have got the 100 points and remain undefeated imo. They would have dealt easily with Liverpool's press by punting it long to either Muller or Lewa and instead of Sterling in those goal scoring positions against Utd it would have been Muller or Robben.

The 100 points was in part due to the fact that the premier league is the least tactically astute of the top 4 leagues although the English media would have you believe otherwise. And tactically a lot of the managers were found wanting. By the time everyone found out that the only way to have a chance against them was press that shocking back line of theirs, the league was already sewn up.

City can be beaten to the title this season. Their defense is about as good as ours (Liverpool) but because of how they manipulate the ball they concede fewer chances which limits the chances of us seeing the likes of Otamendi and Stones fully exposed. As long as you have the ball the opposition cannot hurt you, possession football 101.

It's purely down to tactics and their manager that they achieved the success they did. Sterling, Sane, Aguero/Jesus are about as good as Sanchez,Martial, Lukaku or Mane, Firmino, Salah. They arent by far away the best team and can be beaten to the title if teams don't just go in there to sit back and hope for the best.
 

Manchester Dan

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Couldn't find at 2018/19 thread. Mods feel free to move it to the relevant thread. Anyway...

Been arguing with a friend about the title race in the upcoming season. The general consensus is that City are favourites whilst I agree, My argument is that they are far from a perfect team despite what the 100 points suggest.

They aren't nearly as good as the Bayern team from 15/16. That team would have got the 100 points and remain undefeated imo. They would have dealt easily with Liverpool's press by punting it long to either Muller or Lewa and instead of Sterling in those goal scoring positions against Utd it would have been Muller or Robben.

The 100 points was in part due to the fact that the premier league is the least tactically astute of the top 4 leagues although the English media would have you believe otherwise. And tactically a lot of the managers were found wanting. By the time everyone found out that the only way to have a chance against them was press that shocking back line of theirs, the league was already sewn up.

City can be beaten to the title this season. Their defense is about as good as ours (Liverpool) but because of how they manipulate the ball they concede fewer chances which limits the chances of us seeing the likes of Otamendi and Stones fully exposed. As long as you have the ball the opposition cannot hurt you, possession football 101.

It's purely down to tactics and their manager that they achieved the success they did. Sterling, Sane, Aguero/Jesus are about as good as Sanchez,Martial, Lukaku or Mane, Firmino, Salah. They arent by far away the best team and can be beaten to the title if teams don't just go in there to sit back and hope for the best.
On the Bayern thing, football just doesn’t work like that. Bayern lost 2 games themselves in the 15/16 season, so it’s silly to predict they’d go unbeaten here. It’s just not an easy thing to do. They might have beat United and Liverpool, but there is 36 other games they’d have had to deal with.

This may well be a tactically poor league, but if that’s the case then what’s really going to change between this year and next? Youre saying the league is tactically poor, and then the rest of your argument relies on everyone significantly improving tactically, which means not so poor after all...
 

Bergman

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On the Bayern thing, football just doesn’t work like that. Bayern lost 2 games themselves in the 15/16 season, so it’s silly to predict they’d go unbeaten here. It’s just not an easy thing to do. They might have beat United and Liverpool, but there is 36 other games they’d have had to deal with.

This may well be a tactically poor league, but if that’s the case then what’s really going to change between this year and next? Youre saying the league is tactically poor, and then the rest of your argument relies on everyone significantly improving tactically, which means not so poor after all...
I agree with your first. I was just stating that the weaknesses you had last season, Pep's 15/16 Bayern didnt have.

As for your 2nd point, the last few league winners have failed to retain the premier league because teams figure out how to play you better, and I think the Liverpool games and the UTD one at Eastlands showed how to approach the matches.

Don't get me wrong I still think you'll win the league again, mainly because Guardiola teams improve season after season, and also your squad depth, I just don't think your team is a 'perfect' team if there is any such thing. I think your weaknesses will remain making it possible for someone else to win the league, unless Laporte lives up to his price tag and performs at a world class level, or Kompany remains fit. Because Stones and Otamendi are mediocre defenders. You'd also need Mendy to return to some semblance of good form because in the bigger games, delph was a liability.
 

BlueMoonOutcast

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Couldn't find at 2018/19 thread. Mods feel free to move it to the relevant thread. Anyway...

Been arguing with a friend about the title race in the upcoming season. The general consensus is that City are favourites whilst I agree, My argument is that they are far from a perfect team despite what the 100 points suggest.

They aren't nearly as good as the Bayern team from 15/16. That team would have got the 100 points and remain undefeated imo. They would have dealt easily with Liverpool's press by punting it long to either Muller or Lewa and instead of Sterling in those goal scoring positions against Utd it would have been Muller or Robben.

The 100 points was in part due to the fact that the premier league is the least tactically astute of the top 4 leagues although the English media would have you believe otherwise. And tactically a lot of the managers were found wanting. By the time everyone found out that the only way to have a chance against them was press that shocking back line of theirs, the league was already sewn up.

City can be beaten to the title this season. Their defense is about as good as ours (Liverpool) but because of how they manipulate the ball they concede fewer chances which limits the chances of us seeing the likes of Otamendi and Stones fully exposed. As long as you have the ball the opposition cannot hurt you, possession football 101.

It's purely down to tactics and their manager that they achieved the success they did. Sterling, Sane, Aguero/Jesus are about as good as Sanchez,Martial, Lukaku or Mane, Firmino, Salah. They arent by far away the best team and can be beaten to the title if teams don't just go in there to sit back and hope for the best.
Our 'shocking back line' conceded only 27 goals in the league. United were second best with 28, Spurs third with 36. We also scored 106 goals, won 32 games, won 18 games in a row, etc. Nobody knows how an upcoming season will go, but we were 19 points clear at the end, you are giving us no credit here.
 

DonnieDarko

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City's attack was not the best last season, their midfield was. And it still is the best in the league, if Silva and Fernandinho will retain their level.
The only thing that may let them down is psychology.
Fernandinho is aging, so they need to plan a successor. Will be interesting how they handle it.
 

CA1

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Player for player they're not a lot more special than other top Premier League sides in the past but their running and intensity is beyond anything I've ever seen. It's a consistent 90 minutes, 3 game a week stuff that can't be dealt with. They'll go on a massive run through the Autumn/Winter months when others are fatigued.

Liverpool matched them for 20-30 minute spells in the CL and PL games at Anfield and managed to expose them defensively and managed to hang on when they were then put under pressure as they'd given themselves the goal advantages.
 

Irrational.

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You also have to remember that incredible winning run they went on at the beginning of the season with plenty of last minute winners, and some lucky goals (starting from the opening game of the season). They will not have that kind of luck again - a freak set of results. It was more akin to the Arsenal Invincibles season. This next season will be much closer, with teams like Liverpool also looking to close the gap.

On paper I expect it to be a toss up between City and Liverpool, but maybe Jose will surprise us all. Nothing is won on paper. :cool:
 

Denis_unwise

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You also have to remember that incredible winning run they went on at the beginning of the season with plenty of last minute winners, and some lucky goals (starting from the opening game of the season). They will not have that kind of luck again - a freak set of results.
:cool:
They were also lucky on the injury front, losing only Mendy for any significant time. Hard to imagine many of the players being at the level Pep demanded last season, especially coming off the back of a world cup.

The biggest challenge for them will be complacency & player unrest. They have had the strongest squad in the league for a number of years but have failed to retain the league. They say Pep doesn't do complacency. I'm sure though that Mancini & Pellegrini were not complacent either. There is something endemic within the club that stops them truly succeeding. They have had financial dominance over the league for nearly a decade without converting it to dominance on the field. Mansour will also be expecting at least a place in the final of the CL. Last season the PL was a priority with any success in the CL a bonus. Mansour will be expecting excellent results in both though next season.

There are now lot's of issues regarding player contacts & wage demands. Sterling is demanding parity with KDB. Jesus want's vastly improved terms & is currently at a stalemate with the club. If City don't agree then they will likely have to sell them rather than have them run their contracts down & leave for no fee. If they agree to meet the players demands then this will lead to other players also wanting better deals. Will be very easy for things to quickly become toxic in the dressing room thus effecting results on the pitch.
 

Andrew Wolf

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They were also lucky on the injury front, losing only Mendy for any significant time. Hard to imagine many of the players being at the level Pep demanded last season, especially coming off the back of a world cup.

The biggest challenge for them will be complacency & player unrest. They have had the strongest squad in the league for a number of years but have failed to retain the league. They say Pep doesn't do complacency. I'm sure though that Mancini & Pellegrini were not complacent either. There is something endemic within the club that stops them truly succeeding. They have had financial dominance over the league for nearly a decade without converting it to dominance on the field. Mansour will also be expecting at least a place in the final of the CL. Last season the PL was a priority with any success in the CL a bonus. Mansour will be expecting excellent results in both though next season.

There are now lot's of issues regarding player contacts & wage demands. Sterling is demanding parity with KDB. Jesus want's vastly improved terms & is currently at a stalemate with the club. If City don't agree then they will likely have to sell them rather than have them run their contracts down & leave for no fee. If they agree to meet the players demands then this will lead to other players also wanting better deals. Will be very easy for things to quickly become toxic in the dressing room thus effecting results on the pitch.
Only losing our only left back, Mendy, to a season ending injury. David Silva missed a hell of a lot of football due to personal issues. John Stones was out for 7 weeks with a torn hamstring just as he'd hit the form of his life. He completely lost form on his return. Kompany, our club captain, was in/out constantly with ongoing calf issues. Jesús missed 2 months with knee ligament damage and Aguero played about 20 minutes in the final 2 months of the season and requires knee surgery.

The biggest slice of luck City had was our players escaping serious injury despite being on the end of some brutal unpunished challenges.

By the way....Your comments on wage structure and players rebelling shows the severe lengths you're going to to clutch at those straws
 

bosnian_red

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Think they'll win the title again this season, but a few key points to their squad really need fixing, basically in midfield. Silva is 32 turning 33 in January, Fernandinho will turn 34 at the end of the season. That's definitely at the point where you would expect sharp decreases in fitness and performances, but they could squeeze out another season or 2. Motivation is always a massive thing, one season they can be world beaters and the next they feck up a lot. We'll see how the season goes, but I doubt they'll be as dominant, but they'll still be consistent enough to win the title IMO. It's the best side in the premier league since Fergie days, and the one best equipped to win back to back titles, while previous winners all had big issues all the time.

Mahrez I'd guess will start ahead of Sterling, which obviously strengthens them despite Sterling having an excellent season last year, but with the 2 of the midfield aging and only Gundogan/Delph as back up, it's a big issue for them.
 

Thunderhead

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Think they'll win the title again this season, but a few key points to their squad really need fixing, basically in midfield. Silva is 32 turning 33 in January, Fernandinho will turn 34 at the end of the season. That's definitely at the point where you would expect sharp decreases in fitness and performances, but they could squeeze out another season or 2. Motivation is always a massive thing, one season they can be world beaters and the next they feck up a lot. We'll see how the season goes, but I doubt they'll be as dominant, but they'll still be consistent enough to win the title IMO. It's the best side in the premier league since Fergie days, and the one best equipped to win back to back titles, while previous winners all had big issues all the time.

Mahrez I'd guess will start ahead of Sterling, which obviously strengthens them despite Sterling having an excellent season last year, but with the 2 of the midfield aging and only Gundogan/Delph as back up, it's a big issue for them.
Pep has already stated that Silva will be playing less this season, we did ok without him last season when he was in Spain, Gundo and Delph are more than adequate backup for Ferna, I'm one of the only people that think Gundo could be great for us in the Ferna role
 

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Word is that Claudio Gomes (signed from PsG) is proving highly impressive in training, and, to the extent that it's given them pause for thought in terms of transfer recruitment in DM now that Jorginho attempt failed. City fans might be able to verify this.
 

Thunderhead

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Word is that Claudio Gomes (signed from PsG) is proving highly impressive in training, and, to the extent that it's given them pause for thought in terms of transfer recruitment in DM now that Jorginho attempt failed. City fans might be able to verify this.
Yeah pep was gushing about him the other day but then he does that about everyone, Garcia was the Motm the other night, he's an 18 year old CB we got from Barca
 

totaalvoetbal

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I wont't be surprised if they have a slow start this season as the bulk of their squad went quite deep in the world cup. This will affect their pre season.

Expecting Mahrez and Laporte to get a lot of game time.
 

Offsideagain

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It grieves me to write this but I think the Scousers in red will win the PL next season. Why? Because they were playing the best footy last season and had a muppet keeper. This season they have spent big time, unlike Guardiola for a change, and bought well.

City will be overcome with arrogance and will face a battle in every game next season. I can’t wait for West Ham v City with an agrieved Yaya fired up to show Guardiola a thing or two. Sterling will be in a big sulk unless the Sheik bungs him a skip full of money into a secret account to keep the other players , and UEFA, happy.

United will either just sneak the title or finish third at best depending on JM smiling or sulking. He’s sulking just now.
 

Denis_unwise

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It grieves me to write this but I think the Scousers in red will win the PL next season. Why? Because they were playing the best footy last season and had a muppet keeper. This season they have spent big time, unlike Guardiola for a change, and bought well.

City will be overcome with arrogance and will face a battle in every game next season. I can’t wait for West Ham v City with an agrieved Yaya fired up to show Guardiola a thing or two. Sterling will be in a big sulk unless the Sheik bungs him a skip full of money into a secret account to keep the other players , and UEFA, happy.

United will either just sneak the title or finish third at best depending on JM smiling or sulking. He’s sulking just now.
They had 2 rubbish keepers to be precise. Agree with what you are saying though. The nightmare could finally become real & next year could be Liverpool's year. Salah will have to replicate last seasons form. They should be alot stronger in defence though if the new keeper is in any way competent.

I don't think it's arrogance that has stopped City retaining the title though. It seems more of a mentality issue to me. They are state funded & the biggest spenders in the leagues history. They are still in reality a small club in regards to their fan base & trophy count. I feel that this translates to the players. Winning the PL feels like a huge achievement. As there are no real foundations to the success it's hard for the players to be motivated to do it again. They have the sack full of cash & the medal in their pockets. The problem is nobody cares & it all feels dirty & soulless.
 

Bergman

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They had 2 rubbish keepers to be precise. Agree with what you are saying though. The nightmare could finally become real & next year could be Liverpool's year. Salah will have to replicate last seasons form. They should be alot stronger in defence though if the new keeper is in any way competent.

I don't think it's arrogance that has stopped City retaining the title though. It seems more of a mentality issue to me. They are state funded & the biggest spenders in the leagues history. They are still in reality a small club in regards to their fan base & trophy count. I feel that this translates to the players. Winning the PL feels like a huge achievement. As there are no real foundations to the success it's hard for the players to be motivated to do it again. They have the sack full of cash & the medal in their pockets. The problem is nobody cares & it all feels dirty & soulless.
Don't buy this to be honest. Football fans,players, media dont give flying feck the narrative or how success was got. Success makes everything else meaningless. No French fan cares Deschamps had a poorly functioning team, palying dull football. No Madrid fan cares that our best player was injured in the CL final , just like we wouldnt care if Ronaldo/Modric got taken out by Lovren. No Chelsea fan cared that they were the worst team out of the last 4 in 2012 and didnt deserve to win. None of those attached to City care where the feck the money is coming from and especially players, who would love it if Abhu Dhabi or Qatar of whoever the feck signs the checks brought in Neyma, Ronaldo, Messi with such funds. It's just the way it is.
 

Manchester Dan

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Just watched the friendly with Bayern last night. Some of the youngsters there look fantastic against a relatively experienced Bayern side, would be good to see a few more this season alongside the first team with Foden and Diaz.

In particular the CB Eric Garcia really impressed at only 17. Looks like we picked him up from Barca youth - any Barcelona fans know anything about him?
 

SER19

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City were fantastic last season for the most part, but there was an element of momentum that we have seen with title winning sides in the past. Should they stagger out this time will be interesting, or have a tough month early on while challengers are doing well. They had great momentum from the off, and no pressure for most of 8 months. I’m hoping that some change to the above combined with the risk of drop off once success has been achieved, will see a decline this year to at least have a competitive season. Saying that if it’s not a canter city will probably spend 200m in January to help their cause.

Guardiola Seems to have a low threshold for meltdown too, came close last season a few times despite the ease at which they won.
 

amolbhatia50k

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It grieves me to write this but I think the Scousers in red will win the PL next season. Why? Because they were playing the best footy last season and had a muppet keeper. This season they have spent big time, unlike Guardiola for a change, and bought well.

City will be overcome with arrogance and will face a battle in every game next season. I can’t wait for West Ham v City with an agrieved Yaya fired up to show Guardiola a thing or two. Sterling will be in a big sulk unless the Sheik bungs him a skip full of money into a secret account to keep the other players , and UEFA, happy.

United will either just sneak the title or finish third at best depending on JM smiling or sulking. He’s sulking just now.
Anything can happen in football but City were comfortably the best team in England who easily played the best football in the PL. Liverpool were not even remotely on the same keeper. Also, as things stand I think it'll take a hell of a season from us to 'sneak to the title'.
 

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Don't buy this to be honest. Football fans,players, media dont give flying feck the narrative or how success was got. Success makes everything else meaningless. No French fan cares Deschamps had a poorly functioning team, palying dull football. No Madrid fan cares that our best player was injured in the CL final , just like we wouldnt care if Ronaldo/Modric got taken out by Lovren. No Chelsea fan cared that they were the worst team out of the last 4 in 2012 and didnt deserve to win. None of those attached to City care where the feck the money is coming from and especially players, who would love it if Abhu Dhabi or Qatar of whoever the feck signs the checks brought in Neyma, Ronaldo, Messi with such funds. It's just the way it is.
I don't think that's entirely true. Chelsea get far less credit and respect for their title than exemplarily Bayern. Pep's Barca is still the benchmark for every top team not because they were the most succesful but because of the revolutionary football they played. How you play does matter. Look at Sacchi's Milan or Cruyff's Netherlands/Ajax. Especially the Netherland side is more popular and people can name many more players than other teams that actually won the thing.
 

Neo_Mufc

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I look at their first 6 fixtures.

Arsenal A
Hud A
Wolves H
Newcastle H
Fulham H
Cardiff A

They will spank some of those..Liverpool have the next best set of fixtures. If we don't keep up they will run away with a naughty lead.
 

Manchester Dan

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I look at their first 6 fixtures.

Arsenal A
Hud A
Wolves H
Newcastle H
Fulham H
Cardiff A

They will spank some of those..Liverpool have the next best set of fixtures. If we don't keep up they will run away with a naughty lead.
Alternatively, two tough games to start playing sides on their first home games of the season, one being Arsenal! Could be 0/6 and chasing the pack... football is a funny old game.
 

Neo_Mufc

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Alternatively, two tough games to start playing sides on their first home games of the season, one being Arsenal! Could be 0/6 and chasing the pack... football is a funny old game.
Even if City draw or lose to Le Arse I fully expect them to pick up maximum points.
 

Johnny Love

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City are built to win PL because out of all the contenders I still think they will be ones to drop the least amount of points against lesser clubs. United, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea always seem to drops points against teams they should beat. On the other hand I predict City will struggle when going head to head vs the other top contenders. That's why I don't give them a chance in CL.
 

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Personally I hate playing teams like Huddersfield and Cardiff early season. When the players and fans are full of enthusiasm they are much more dangerous than when things have settled down later in the year. Wolves will also be a test, a real mystery team I'm sure they'll take some big scalps.
 

Le Red

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Possession football has been in free fall for years now, but still English clubs were mesmerized by it last season like troglodites before a lump of fire.
Maybe this time around the clubs actually deploy the tactics that have been effectively killing possession football for some time now. In that scenario, I believe City is far from walking the league a second time in a row. Even then, they might still win it by virtue of the amazing players they have.
Premier League clubs need to take a good look at the mirror lest they want to be completely dominated by City at home and schooled by European teams abroad.
 

robinamicrowave

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First ten games.

Arsenal (A) - D/L
Huddersfield (H) - W
Wolves (A) - W/D
Newcastle (H) - W
Fulham (H) - W
Cardiff (A) - W
Brighton (H) - W
Liverpool (A) - D/L
Burnley (H) - W
Spurs (A) - D/L

Best case scenario that's 24 points. Worst case scenario that's 19 points. Call it halfway, 22 points from the first ten games.
 

Manchester Dan

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First ten games.

Arsenal (A) - D/L
Huddersfield (H) - W
Wolves (A) - W/D
Newcastle (H) - W
Fulham (H) - W
Cardiff (A) - W
Brighton (H) - W
Liverpool (A) - D/L
Burnley (H) - W
Spurs (A) - D/L

Best case scenario that's 24 points. Worst case scenario that's 19 points. Call it halfway, 22 points from the first ten games.
Is football that easy to predict?

Arsenal, Spurs and Lpool all A. Our run in must be OK.