So we’ve had a week to digest Amazon Prime’s documentary All or Nothing: Manchester City.
The eight-part docu-series peers into the inner workings of City’s 2017-18 title winning season.
The cameras showed us a candid look into the mind of manager Pep Guardiola and his players.
It’s now or never for Guardiola
Guardiola has a history of only staying at a club for three or four years. His first season at the Etihad didn’t go to plan, but it looked like he was trying to make up for lost time here.
He became synonymous for his expletive rants and incredibly intense tactical methods.
His style clearly improves his players – take Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph for instance – but knows he might only get three seasons out of them before his passionate approach stops getting through.
After a record-breaking season last year, to go again and claim the Champions League will be the crowning glory. Which could then see Guardiola depart.
The board are scarily clinical
You might think Guardiola has a proven way of working but this extends to boardroom level too.
The series peered into the day-to-day workings of Director of Football Txiki Begiristain and Chief Executive Ferran Soriano.
Responsible for transfers and new contracts, it was particularly eye-opening to see how they, alongside chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak are so slick when it comes to player relations and sealing deals.
After the injuries to centre-backs John Stones and Vincent Kompany the acquisition of Aymeric Laporte was struck with a clinical edge.
Leaders in the dressing room
If you’re to achieve big things and set new records then, at times, you need the players to pick up take on extra responsibility.
Skipper Vincent Kompany was a constant voice in the dressing room, urging his players to give more. Especially after losses to Wigan in the FA Cup and the Champions League defeat to Liverpool.
But it was interesting to see a player like Delph be so vocal. The 28-year-old came into the team at left-back following Benjamin Mendy’s injury and didn’t look back.
Sometimes it’s not always the first names on the team-sheet that are key to a team fulfilling their potential.
Backroom staff vital
Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany massively bigged up the men behind the scenes at the Etihad.
Assistant coach Mikel Arteta was prominent throughout but it was kit man and general life of the dressing room Brandon Ashton who was the ‘breakout star’.
De Bruyne said: “I would say the players are more close to the kitman and the physio,”
More intriguingly he added; “I’m very good with him, since day one. Sometimes, for me, it’s nice to be with someone who’s not a football person.”
That time where you can switch off from the intensity of Guardiola’s training regimes is clearly vital to developing a successful team.
Ashton brought a light-hearted side to the series but more importantly the dressing room when it needed it most.
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