In My Opinion
Manchester City have been on another level this season and have a decent opportunity to win 4 major trophies in the one season, something that has never been done before. Their dominance mirrors the great Barcelona side managed under Pep from 2009-11. However, what is the difference between the players this season to last? Yes there have been a few signings but as a whole, the team has remained somewhat the same.
Guardiola has always been known for his Tiki Taka style of football which put simply, is a variation of passing and moving. What we saw at Barcelona was some of the greatest football by some of the greatest players to ever grace the game. However, Manchester City have adopted their own version of this style of play and are on track for success throughout European football as well as domestically.
So what is the secret? In my opinion it is the movement of players off the ball, particularly the attacking wingers. We've seen countless goals from Aguero, De Bruyne and Silva finishing the ball into the back of the net from crosses by City's attacking wingers. Of course in defence, City are relentless with their willingness to chase down and win the ball back as soon as possible. This still counts as their movement off the ball but I'm mainly talking about their movement in possession.
Every time I watch City play I think to myself that these players are more focused on what they're doing off the ball than with it. This is the exact opposite of most players! City's players are always looking for the space that they can run into to receive the ball and with the likes of De Bruyne and Silva in midfield, there's a good chance that they will be found. This small shift in mentality when executed by each player makes a huge difference to the overall team dynamic. All of a sudden every single player is looking to be found in space, making the job so much easier for the man in possession of the ball.
Manchester City get themselves in behind the opposition so frequently and it's purely down to their movement off the ball. This is why they are so hard to defend because everyone is constantly moving that it's impossible to mark them. Yes, sometimes players receive the ball to feet but majority of their attacking movements come from other players making runs in behind.
There are many reasons why City have been so dominant this season and show no signs of slowing down but to me, this is the biggest! Let me know what you think...
Thanks for reading,