Five reasons Manchester United are still years behind Man City after Liverpool FC dismemberment – Stuart Brennan – .

Five reasons Manchester United are still years behind Man City after Liverpool FC dismemberment – Stuart Brennan – .

Few who were at Anfield last month as Liverpool and Manchester City contested a high-quality 2-2 draw had any doubts that they were watching the top two teams in the country.
There was a strong argument that they could even look at the top two teams on the planet, although Chelsea may have a legitimate protest, and a resurgent Bayern Munich could claim a claim as well.

And after the Merseysiders’ 5-0 humiliation against Manchester United, the early-season tale of a potential four-way title fight is starting to sound a bit sickly.

This result was not a big surprise – Paul Scholes got a stick to be a killjoy when he pointed out the truth, that the Reds would come a refram if they played the same against Jurgen’s team Klopp than against Atalanta.

Chelsea, Liverpool and City have barely broken up, and there is still time for things to change, but at the moment they appear to be the only teams equipped to go the distance.

The default mode for anyone outside of City trying to analyze why they’re so good is to show the money they’ve spent – and that’s undeniably a big factor.

But United have also made huge investments over the past decade and have spent City heavily over the past three years.

To suggest that it was the tired old ‘oil money’ cliché that turned out to be the difference is lazy, and a strict case of United being in denial of the truth.

The point is, City are a better run club than their old rivals, from top to bottom, and it would take time to narrow down its many facets.

But to give a general overview, here’s why City have consistently outperformed United, on and off the pitch, over the past eight years.

The plan

New Blues owner Sheikh Mansour was ridiculed as a rich man buying a toy when he took over in 2008, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Sheikh Mansour bought Manchester City in 2008.

Behind the headlines on offerings for superstar gamers, the telltale investment was in infrastructure.

The money was spent to develop the academy, the training ground and every department of the club, from food and nutrition to the commercial department.

That, along with the money spent on the team, allowed City to reach and then surpass and maintain United’s level.

United have enjoyed big academy hits like Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, but City beat them with Phil Foden, and have others including Cole Palmer, Liam Delap, Romeo Lavia and James McAtee.

The overhaul on the business side means the Blues are now self-sufficient and able to compete with United financially without breaking the rules of financial fair play.

soccer director

United have resisted it for years, a legacy of when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost at Old Trafford and had his own idea in terms of the plan for the club and strategic planning.

It was obvious that once he was gone this English model was old fashioned, and if they wanted proof of the importance of having a football manager and the importance of having the right man, they just had to look across town.

Brian Marwood did a good job for the Blues early on, bringing in stars like David Silva, Yaya Touré, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero who made the initial transformation.

But as soon as it became clear that Pep Guardiola was a possibility as a coach, the appointment of Txiki Begiristain to the post became crucial.

Begiuristain and Guardiola are steeped in the same Barcelona traditions and perceive football in the same way, so they are rarely out of step when it comes to transfer policy.

By the time Guardiola took the reins in 2016, City were moving towards a setup that would suit the new manager like a glove.

Academy teams have played Guardiola football, players like Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling have all been bought with an eye on the future. The result has been a smooth evolution of the team.

By contrast, United’s transfer policy has been sketchy, ranging from David | Molyes to Louis Van Gaal to Jose Mourinho and from there to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – very different coaches with different philosophies, all wanting their own type of player.

The result is a quilting team at Old Trafford, a stark contrast to the smooth running of the machine in City, where each piece has been carefully selected and does its job perfectly.

Property model

United still have top incomes at City, despite all the nonsense being told about the Blues owners’ wealth, which has been out of date since FFP became a thing.

But City have grown their own revenue streams through success on the pitch, City Football Group innovation and a smart business side.

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Importantly, they also have an owner who has no intention of withdrawing money from the club, so every penny they earn is reinvested.

Not only does this financially mean they can take on the Reds, but it has also brought a calm unity that United haven’t had since the Glazer family moved in 16 years ago.


It goes without saying, but City pulled off one of the big shots in football history by arranging for Guardiola’s transfer to the Etihad Stadium.

They not only offered the brilliant Catalan money to spend, they offered a club set up for him to be successful, and with like-minded men in key positions making sure he didn’t would face none of the grueling policies that saw him leave Barcelona. , or the resistance to change he encountered at Bayern Munich.

United wanted Guardiola – he was courted by Sir Alex Ferguson as his successor – but this package offered by City, and the allure of bringing unprecedented success to the Blues, was more tempting.

Guardiola has had some bad times at City, especially in a difficult first season where he finished without a pot, but the hierarchy kept his faith, supported him financially and verbally, and the results were spectacular.

Ilkay Gundogan was back in the Manchester City squad and back among the goals.

It was a smart move based on pure and proven abilities, while United, in appointing Solskjaer, got caught up in absurd notions of ‘United DNA’ – as if it could mask their tactical shortcomings, without having the class. superior, experienced coaches working under him, as Fergie had done.

Individuals vs team

Male for male, there is little difference between United and City, two formidable football teams.

But anyone who had to choose a Manchester XI for a game in which they could win a million pounds, if they were smart, would choose 11 City players.

Bruno Fernandes is a fantastic player, but he wouldn’t be a better fit for the City side than Kevin De Bruynene, Bernardo Silva or Phil Foden.

Luke Shaw is a great left-back, but he couldn’t do what Joao Cancelo does for City.

That’s the beauty of City, they don’t have a Cristiano Ronaldo or a Mo Salah but what they do have are top quality players who pair with a silky softness that produces irresistible football.

Guardiola has built a team, Solskjaer and his predecessors – for lack of a strategic plan – have brought together individuals, who don’t click often enough to make a difference.


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