Manchester City – currently England’s best and arguably the world’s best football club.
This is due to the managerial ability of Pep Guardiola who has altered the way the Citizens play and also completely revolutionised the way teams play their football around Europe. It is no surprise that the Spaniard has won a total of 26 titles during his managerial spell, but why is his current stint at the Premier League champions going so brilliantly?
Well if we’re starting from the back, Ederson’s passing technique is probably better than many midfielders in the league. Alongside this, his excellent handling and his composed approached to all situations make him the ideal man between the sticks. In front of him sit Laporte and Stones who have an immense awareness of what is around them as well as world-class distribution similar to that of the Brazilian in goal.
Going forward, Aguero, Jesus, Mahrez and Sterling all offer different approaches and skill making it very hard for teams to stop City’s rampant attack; this is supported so well by the solidarity of Fernandinho who so expertly sweeps up everything that his team lets loose. But what makes it so hard to stop Guardiola’s side in the final third?
Throughout Premier League history, every great side has had a player who would dictate play in front of the midfield and behind the striker. Yet what is unheard of is having two of these exquisite individuals in the same team; it is also unusual that these two players are so similar yet so different in everything they do for the team, with their approach paying dividends in many ways. Without a doubt, David Silva and Bernardo Silva are two players who are making this City side such a nuisance to play against and two individuals who are instrumental in City’s style of play and current dominance.
Starting off with David Silva, it is hard to fit onto one page his achievements at City, be it individual or with the team. The 32-year-old Spaniard has made over 250 appearances in the league for the Citizens since joining them in 2010, and it’s fair to say that despite his age, he is enjoying his richest spell of form at the moment in Manchester.
With 20 assists since the arrival of Pep a few years ago, David has helped City score some crucial goals, as well as grabbing some himself – including the fantastic opener in the Manchester derby this season. However, “El Mago” as the City fans like to call him, has been seen by Guardiola as much more than just an attacking midfielder. The little magician has made an astonishing 364 ball recoveries since August 2016, and this is a huge reason why City are so hard to defend against or start counterattacks against.
David Silva simply runs and runs until City regain possession of the ball, and while many still don’t seem to view him as that kind of player, he isn’t afraid to get stuck in either. David was a key component to City’s centurion title win last season, and what is even more amazing, is that he did all of this while dealing with personal problems which he didn’t allow to get in the way of his footballing brilliance.
City fans will forever hold David Silva in their hearts as a club legend, but one of David’s teammates is also building up to be something special in the north of England. Bernardo Silva came to England during the summer before the 2017/18 season, after a fantastic season alongside the likes of Mbappe and Mendy at Monaco. His price tag came to around £45 million, so the Portuguese maestro did come with some added pressure on his shoulders to fulfil this hefty price tag.
Under Pep Guardiola though, Bernardo was bound to thrive and while it took him some to lift off he is flying beyond what anyone thought he would become. He is a key factor for City this season and with an emphatic 82% win rate when he starts for the side, he is fundamental to the Citizens title charge.
He is also extremely versatile and can play pretty much anywhere across the midfield; whenever he picks up the ball defenders have learned to automatically drop a few yards and stop any runners that Bernardo could pick out.
What is scary is that the Portuguese international is only 24 and with a big career ahead of him; defenders must have sleepless nights in fright of what he will be able to do when he fully matures and peaks.
David and Bernardo are also extremely good at interchanging positions, as well as making runs to the back post. It is incredibly hard for any defenders to pick up and track one of these talents, let alone two for 90 minutes. It is this reason why Manchester City look set to dominate England and maybe Europe for years to come.
Both players are playing the best football of their lives and under Pep Guardiola this can only get better as City look to win their second Premier League title as well as their first Champions League. Whatever happens, both Silva’s will be central to Pep’s plans as they look to control football all around the globe and their class will inevitably continue to shine through.