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And this time, it’s not only the teams from the Premier League that the Blues are beating, but every club in the world.
Stuart Brennan in the Manchester Evening News takes up the story: “Not content with smashing Premier League records by the handful, Manchester City will set one at the World Cup!
“The Blues will have a STAGGERING 17 stars performing in Russia, an increase of seven on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and the biggest contingent from one club in the history of the tournament.
“That means that the Blues, for the first time, are the best-represented club at the finals, ahead of Real Madrid, whose 16 call-ups would have been a record had it not been trumped by City.
“The previous highest figure was 15, set by Arsenal in 2006.”
Sounds like it’s going to be a busy summer here on mancity.com!
Meanwhile, The Metro this morning claim City are closing on Riyad Mahrez.
The Blues’ pursuit of the Leicester City winger, the Metro claim, was prioritised over Chelsea’s Eden Hazard because of his ability to unlock the tightest of defensive units in games that are in the balance.
The report reads: “City’s football in the first half of last season was sensational but Guardiola noted a distinct increase as the season progressed that teams were defending deeper and deeper, especially at the Etihad.
“The blanket defence employed by the likes of Brighton and Huddersfield made it difficult for the likes of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling to exploit the limited space in behind defences and Guardiola only envisages that becoming more difficult next term.
“Guardiola believes Mahrez’s ability to beat opponents in one-on-one situations could prove vital, especially in games at home. The Algerian likes coming inside off the right flank to mix with the midfield and Guardiola feels he can entice defenders out of position, providing more room for the likes of Sterling and Sane to operate.
“Though Guardiola is strict – almost formulaic – in how he likes his teams to build up play, he gives attacking players freedom in the final third. Mahrez is not the archetypal ‘Guardiola’ player but that is precisely the point and the same could have been said about Alexis Sanchez.
“The Algerian is far more of an individual than the likes of Sterling or David Silva, but Guardiola wants a differential: a player to produce something unpredictable in the tighter matches. Mahrez’s ability to play anywhere across the front was also a factor.”
Finally, ESPN’s Michael Cox has written an in-depth feature on the managers he believes have proved themselves the best in Europe this season.
Top of the pile, is Pep.
He writes: “After the disappointment of not winning the European Cup with Bayern Munich and an underwhelming first campaign in English football, 2017-18 confirmed that Guardiola remains the most exciting, methodical and innovative coach of his generation, taking Manchester City to a record points haul and joining a select group of managers who won the title in three major European countries.
“Guardiola has demonstrated that he boasts the perfect combination of an overall philosophy and the attention to detail to adapt his tactics to various countries, various situations and various opponents.
“A third European Cup will be on the agenda for next season.”
Here’s hoping! More gossip and City-related news from the world media tomorrow…
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