The hiring of Pep Guardiola before the season brought with it much hope for a very successful year for Manchester City. High expectations are something that Pep is used to as he is one of the best coaches of all time. The season started off just as expected when the Blues came out and won their first six matches. The fire from the beginning of the season soon fizzled out as Man City found themselves struggling to play to their potential. With a struggling team on the pitch came much frustration for Guardiola as he pressed to figure out what was needed from him to have success in the English Premier League. Pep had said he made the change to the Premier league because he wanted to step out of his comfort zone to challenge himself and this season has been nothing short of a challenge for him and his club. Even though Man City stayed near the top for most of the season their play was not nearly to the quality that was expected of them at the beginning.
The transition to the Premier League was not an easy one for Pep, not yet anyways. With a disappointing season resulting in a 4th place finish, no trophies, as well as almost not being eligible for the champions league next year, leaves him with much room for improvement. The loss against Arsenal in the semi-finals of the FA Cup left fans stunned by the thought of City not taking home any sort of trophy for the season. Alongside setbacks such as the foot injury to Gabriel Jesus in late January, and a struggling goalie in the net, Pep also had to adjust his play style slightly to better fit the playstyle of the English Premier League. The Premier League teams play a much tougher, rough tackling style of football when compared to that of teams in La Liga.
Many people expected for Peps hiring to lead to an undefeated season or other unrealistic results, however these things take time. One man can make a huge impact on a squad but it is not just up to him, he needs the players to all buy into to what he is trying to do in order for the team to have the level of success that is expected from them and that they are capable of. City’s players have had to make adjustments themselves to fit Guardiola’s methods of play. These adjustments do not happen overnight, they take time and practice. When speaking about adjusting to Guardiola’s play style and this past season Vincent Kompany said “Finish strongly now and we give ourselves something to look forward to next season, because you want to be in four competitions. Sometimes exceptional seasons are built on seasons like this.” The future is bright for Manchester City as this season’s lack of success, will undoubtedly be used as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and come back stronger next season. The 2017-2018 season should be an exciting one, especially for Manchester City.