Schalke well and truly mucked it up. A 2-1 lead going into the last five minutes against a ten-man Manchester City resulted in a loss and three away goals conceded. It’s difficult as an Englishman to decide whether you should applaude the miraculous comeback of an English side, capped off with another last-minute Raheem Sterling winner, or whether you should hope that City could just lose something…
As good as they are, Manchester City just feel a little bit souless, a little mechanical in the way they play. Guardiola’s football is beautiful but it’s also very strictly manufactured.
When you look at the past ten years, it’s difficult to ignore the severe financial influx from the Mansours. From 8-1 against Middlesbrough to a Premier League title winner. Believe me, I am not against fairy tales (I was in tears over Leicester), but it just doesn’t seem right.
Nevertheless, City sit in a very comfortable position going into the second-leg at the Etihad. They have to go all the way this year. The strength in depth they have is remarkable. Bar Kosovan goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, who will certainly go on to have a very good career, each one of the City substitutes in their 3-1 in against Watford would walk into the other top five teams.
City’s Subs v Watford (H)
- Aymeric Laporte – £55m
- Fabian Delph – £10m
- Leroy Sané – £40m
- Gabriel Jesus – £30m
- Phil Foden – £0
- Danilo – £25m
- TOTAL – £160m (thank the lord for Phil Foden)
I would have no issue with the amount spent if they weren’t so devious with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. Even my nan can see that they have exploited FFP to the max, spending way over what they’re actually supposed to. In all honesty, if City can’t be controlled, we could be looking at a Juventus-esque monopoly in the ‘most entertaining league in the world’.
City have four of the five most expensive defenders in football history (Totalling £200m). They have to sell tickets to their home games in the Metro. On the pitch, they destroy teams. Off the pitch, fans are bored. They’re now an easily dislikeable club. Fans love it when they lose. If you want a greater depth into the specifics of the FFP investigation, I recommend this.
The “price of success” as Danny Higginbotham said to TalkSport, seems fairly accurate. The ‘die-hard’ fans have watched their beloved club get ripped of any tradition and sense of passion. “Souless City” and “The Empithad” are becoming more commonplace and the polarising effect of City’s success has not made City hated, per say, but they aren’t seen favourably by other clubs and other fans. The question: Is it worth it? And should they be stopped?
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