Pep’s Biggest Challenge Yet
Manchester City desperately want to change the way things have been going for them in the Champions League.
After becoming one of the biggest forces in English football, City have qualified for the competition every season since 2011. But they have failed to make it past the last 16 every time until their best effort last year when they made the semi-finals. Last year they were knocked out by a single Real Madrid goal over 2 legs, a Fernandinho own goal at the Bernabeu. That was a close one and a good effort by the sky blues, but their previous 4 attempts must all go down as failures.
It’s no easy task to change their luck in the Champions League because a team that has so many big names and is so strong tactically comes with the pressure of high expectations.
City brought in one of the best managers in the world in Pep, and he brought in some more big hitters, so the league and the Champions League are a must.
If Man City don’t win any silverware they have to view this season as a failure.
Just like Chelsea last season. Just like Liverpool, who long to win the league, they’ve craved for so long, and Arsenal, who want more than the FA Cup.
Pep knows it’s a big task because coming to the Premier league is arguably his biggest challenge yet. It started beautifully and even I thought his magic doesn’t look like it can be stopped. He came fresh from Munich and got his new team off to a flyer in Manchester.
But then he quickly understood that off days in the Premier League can cost you dearly. Smaller teams can easily beat the giants and when you lose two in a row the confidence drops, even amongst world class players. Yes he has brought in some exciting young players like Sané and Jesus, but even they need time.
The Champions League is the other obstacle and if there is one manager in the Premier League that knows how to win it, it’s Pep. But he knows this hurdle will take a lot more energy and knowledge than he probably expected.
He came to Manchester to bring City more trophies so I’m sure he is well aware of the pressures, and the need to succeed.