The curtain came down on Manchester City’s pre-season with an impressive 3-0 win over West Ham United in Iceland. It was the Blues’ third victory in succession and Club journalist Rob Pollard has taken a closer look at the game.
This game was another example of City’s attacking capability.
It’s a bold approach from Pep Guardiola to play so many offensive players and with that much quality going forward, expect plenty of goals from City next season.
The game with West Ham saw Bernardo Silva make his first appearance in a City shirt as a second-half substitute.
The midfielder, signed from Monaco this summer after a hugely impressive campaign for the Ligue 1 champions, is short of match sharpness having been given an extended holiday to recuperate from his Confederations Cup exertions – but he still managed to show his quality during his 30-minute cameo.
He is a player with an almost innate understanding of the game. He sees things others don’t, and his touch and vision means he rarely loses possession.
Getting him fully match fit will be high on Guardiola’s list of priorities in the coming weeks. He could be key.
City made a total of 10 substitutions in the second half as Guardiola tried to give as many of his players a run out as he could.
But the wholesale changes barely affected their performance level. City were superior to West Ham right up until the final whistle, with the likes of Bernardo, Brahim Diaz, Sterling and Phil Foden all impressing after coming on.
It bodes well ahead of the new campaign. City have a mix of youth and experience, with quality right across the squad. They now have a squad that looks capable of challenging on multiple fronts.
Pre-season a huge success
City’s pre-season has undoubtedly been a success.
The two-week tour of the US was ideal preparation. Three highly competitive matches in front of large crowds, as well as a number of intensive training session at world-class facilities, meant the players returned to Manchester in much better shape than when they departed.
They followed that with three days training at the CFA before flying to Iceland for their final match with West Ham, again producing another impressive performance.
Nothing is won in pre-season and the players are unlikely to rest on their laurels, but the last three weeks have provided solid groundwork for the new campaign.