Friday 30 September 2016

Guardiola looks like City's best chance of finding an identity

Joe Molloy

Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30

Pep Guardiola: potential game-changer. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Pep Guardiola: potential game-changer. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

For every high, there is a low. If you're having some ying, don't forget the yang. If you bask in the beauty of Andrea Bocelli at the King Power Stadium, then you can't complain when ambushed by Manchester City's 'lap of honour' that same evening.

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You had it coming. You and about 5,000 Manchester City fans stuck around for the most ignominious of goodbyes for Manuel Pellegrini (right). It turns out the City faithful never really felt all that strongly about him. As is his right, he has been a difficult character to know. Can you remember a single thing he has said? In three years? Just across the road, Louis van Gaal is detailing the parameters of sex masochism followed by dinner at Wing's. Mark Ogden, of the 'The Independent', told us on Monday's show that Pellegrini has never been a visible presence in the city.

He has played the role of company man, ghosting in and out again, with minimum fuss. Considering the season they've just had, it wasn't surprising most City fans decided to beat the traffic. The players do him no favours. Why anybody would want to stick around for Samir Nasri's double-denim monstrosity and general air of self-entitlement, I don't know.

Fittingly, Yaya re-emerged for the lap of honour in his flip-flops. They shuffled out as a group, bashful, the embodiment of mercenary culture and unpractised in the art of engaging with their public.

The 'Manchester Evening News' has reported a general unhappiness amongst City away fans; it seems for quite some time, both Pellegrini and the players have tended to ignore them at games.

They are a club bereft of an identity. The problem with being Manchester City is that players who go there are not going for reasons of tradition. City can sway you with their money. And generally, the very best players, with the best attitudes, are about more than the money. Pep Guardiola, in that respect, is a potential game-changer. The cult of Pep remains strong, the best players want to work with him. City need him to source the right characters, finally.

Irish Independent

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