Relentless Pep Guardiola’s laser focus gives Manchester City cutting edge | John Brewin

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Josko Gvardiol is the latest example of how the Catalan’s reinvention of his players has created a title-winning machine

Too good, too strong, and the inevitable draws ever closer. Their fans’ “we’re not really here” chant may be soaked in deepest Manc irony but it also reflects the economic miracle of Manchester City being the best team in England by far. After victory at Fulham the unknown is about to be breached. Four league titles in a row is a level the greatest teams in English history – Huddersfield in the 1920s, Arsenal in the 1930s, Liverpool in the 1980s and two Alex Ferguson-era Manchester United teams – could not attain.

Success earns respect if not necessarily affection. Each of those predecessors found a way to win that did not achieve universal admiration. Within living memory, Liverpool were derided for overuse of the back-pass to the point of tedium. United were loathed for being the personification of Ferguson’s cheerlessness. The Manchester City of 2024 are – beyond the ongoing legal issues that overshadow their glory – dismissed as too surgical, almost too perfect.

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Written by John Brewin at Craven Cottage
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