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Media Watch: Press laud champions, City

REACTION: There's been widespread praise for Manchester City in the media.

REACTION: There's been widespread praise for Manchester City in the media.

Manchester City are champions of England and oh, how the world has reacted.

There’s been an outpouring of emotion from players and fans alike on social media and in the press, journalists have been effusive in their praise for Pep Guardiola’s side.

So, let’s take a look at what plaudits have been bestowed on the Blues.

Sky Sports’ Adam Bate leads the way, highlighting an impressive away record as he proclaims City as one of the best teams of the modern era.

He writes: “Manchester City's collective effort has put them miles ahead of the rest and secured the title with five games to spare. This is one of the great Premier League teams.

“Manchester City have won big games. They have won at Manchester United. They have won at Tottenham. They have won at Chelsea and they have won at Arsenal. The away record of this team is unparalleled in Premier League history.”

Over at the Mirror, Andy Dunn believes the Blues’ aesthetics have ensured they will go down in history.

He opines: “This title-winning Manchester City team WILL go down as one of the finest in English club football.

“The actual scale of the achievement is way down the pecking order — think of those that have won it against the odds: Nottingham Forest in 1977-78, right after coming up from the Second Division and Leicester a couple of seasons ago — but Man City have done it with a flair and adventure this generation of football followers have not seen.

“For the four decades I can properly remember watching football, there has been no title-winner who has played a more bewitching brand of football.”

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Jonathan Wilson of The Guardian points to the fact we’ve won the title with games to spare despite stern competition, as reason to recognise Guardiola’s team’s achievements

“The statistics offer some measure of Manchester City’s greatness.

“They have won the title with a month to spare and are on course to set records for points gained and goals scored.

“Achieving that in an era when there is, theoretically at least, a big six – when they are not just steamrollering much weaker sides – is extraordinary.”

In the Daily Mail, Guardiola’s ability to improve players already considered amongst the world’s best, is lauded.

Jack Gaughan and Chris Wheeler report: “It says much for Guardiola’s ability in this department that even senior stars like Sergio Aguero, David Silva and De Bruyne have taken their game to a new level.

“The younger ones have benefited too. Raheem Sterling describes how the manager told him to stop controlling the ball on the outside of his foot because it slow him down. The England winger has scored 22 goals this season, double his previous best.

Sane claims Guardiola has changed his game completely, turning him into one of the most devastating attackers in the Premier League.

“They belong to a vibrant group of players, hungry for success and with enough energy required to execute the high-pressing game plan so central to the manager’s ethos.”

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Meanwhile, it’s the Catalan’s unwavering commitment to his brand of football which has caused Jack Pitt-Brooke to pen a story in praise of Guardiola, who he says has proved the naysayers wrong.

His piece in the Independent reads: “It is a very English notion that an idea must be watered down if it is to work.

“But that has always been the essence of the criticism of Guardiola. If he was serious about winning the Premier League, he would have to buy a proper holding midfielder, defend deeper, get the ball forward quicker and certainly start training tackles.

“But the reality of City’s title win this season is the exact opposite. It is not the dilution of Guardiola’s ideas but in fact their maximal implementation that has guided the side to glory.

“Just as City’s average possession has increased from 61 per cent last year to over 71 per cent this year, according to Opta, so have their goals, wins and points, heading towards numbers that have never been seen before in the Premier League.”

Across the Atlantic, it’s a similar story at the New York Times, with Rory Smith also extolling Guardiola’s faith in his methods.

He explains: “He has been vindicated this year. His is a triumph of ideas. He has not had to adapt to the Premier League; rather, the Premier League will now have to adapt to him.

“He has exposed England’s avowed belief that it is different from every other league as a myth: it is just as susceptible to domination by an outstanding team as the Bundesliga, Serie A or La Liga. Guardiola’s method, his philosophy, works just as well here as everywhere else he has been.

“His vision has come to fruition; he has proved his ways work here, and work perfectly. He has spent almost two years making sure everything, every blade of grass, is just as it should be, making sure everything is in perfect condition for his ideas to flourish.”

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