Why Manchester City haven’t been successful in Europe?

Premier League season 2007/08, Manchester United won the league with 87 points. Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool qualified for the UEFA Champions League. However, Manchester City could only finish ninth in the table with 55 points. On 1st September 2008, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan from Abu Dhabi took over the club. On the very same day, Manchester City signs Robinho from the Spanish giants Real Madrid on a club record fee at that time of £32.5 million. However, they could only finish 10th in the Premier League 2008/09.

Post Sheikh Mansour Era

After taking over the English club, Manchester City signed Robinho from Real Madrid and few other players. But the players that shined for the club were Vincent Kompany from Hamburg for £6 million and Pablo Zabaleta from Espanyol for £7 million. These signings were done before the takeover of the Abu Dhabi Group. Although, it was just the beginning. Later, in the following season, Manchester City went on to sign some big names. Carlos Tevez from their city rivals Manchester United, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure from Arsenal. Manchester City improved themselves in the Premier League, finishing 5th in the season 2009/10.

In the season 2010/11 came their real breakthrough when they finished 3rd in the table and qualified for the UEFA Champions League. However, it came at a huge cost. They spent £151 million on seven players, including some of the club legends David Silva, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko. They went on to win the Emirates FA Cup against Stoke City at the Wembley Stadium.

Sergio Aguero's winnig goal for MAnchester City against QPR
Credits : indianexpress.com

Manchester City won their first-ever Premier League title in the season 2011/12. On the final match-day of the season, their latest signing Sergio Aguero scored the winner on the 94th minute, to win the Premier League and beat their city rivals Manchester United on Goal Difference. Later, Manchester City became one of the top clubs in the Premier League. They went on to win three more Premier League titles in the next eight seasons.

Pep Guardiola Era

Manchester City was very successful in the domestic leagues after the takeover by the Sheikh Mansour in September 2008. In the next eight seasons they had won :  

Pep Guardiola at Manchester City
Credits : bleacherreport.com

In the season 2015/16, they finished fourth in the Premier League table, with Manchester United on equal points. Although, they reached their first-ever semi-final in the UEFA Champions League. However, they were knocked out of the competition by Real Madrid on a 1-0 aggregate score. Later, the club confirmed that Manuel Pellegrini had left the club.

Manchester City appointed Pep Guardiola as their next manager after the exit of Manuel Pellegrini. They were very successful in domestic leagues but not so much in Europe. Pep Guardiola who was very successful at Barcelona, was appointed. In the very first season, he signed some big names. Spending £166.3 million on seven players. But, he went trophyless in his first season in the Premier League. Later, in his four seasons at the English club Manchester City he has spent more than £700 million at the club.

PlayerFromCost (£)
Oleksandr ZinchenkoF.C.Ufa1.7 million
Philippe SandlerPEC Zwolle2.5 million
AngelinoPSV5.3 million
NolitoCelta Vigo13.8 million
Claudio BravoF.C.Barcelona15.4 million
Ilkay GundoganBorrusia Dortmund20 million
DaniloReal Madrid26.5 million
Gabriel JesusPalmerias27 million
Joao CaneloJuventus27.5 million
EdersonBenfica35 million
Leroy SaneSchalke37 million
Bernado SilvaMonaco43.6 million
Kyle WalkerTottenham Hotspur45 million
John StonesEverton47.5 million
Benjamin MendyMonaco52 million
Aymeric LaporteAthletic Bilbao57 million
Riyad MahrezLeicester City60 million
RodriAtletico Madrid62.8 million
Some of Pep Guardiola’s signings at Manchester City

Despite signing many big names and spending over £700 million. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have never made past Quarter Finals in his four seasons in charge at the club.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League
  •  In season 2016/17, his first season at the club, they lost to Monaco on away goals. In a thrilling encounter, they won the first leg 5-3 at home. However, lost 3-1 away. The final aggregate score 6-6. Monaco going through on away goals.
  • In season 2017/18, they met Liverpool in the Quarter Finals and lost 5-1 aggregate.
  • In season 2018/19, they again lost the fixture on away goals. This time against Tottenham Hotspur. The final score was 4-4 aggregate.
  • In season 2019/20, lost against Lyon 3-1 in a knockout fixture.
Why Manchester City struggle in Europe?

We have seen it throughout the years, that Manchester City relies on big transfers rather than their academy players. Whenever they are knocked out of the UEFA Champions League, they spend big money on players, bring in big names. And the story repeats itself. Should they more focus on developing their existing players and academy players like Phil Foden, instead of going for big transfers every season. They were close to getting a ban from the UEFA for breaking the financial fair play rules. However, it was overturned.

In my opinion, Pep Guardiola should focus on the squad he currently has. He has a great squad with great players. Crafty players like Riyad Mahrez, Bernado Silva on the wings. Great pace in the attack. Also, one of the best midfielders in recent times Kevin De Bruyne. A great keeper and a good defense. Too many changes in the squad make it difficult for the players to get along. This disturbs the chemistry of the team. Every season players have to understand how the new player’s playing style, get used to it, and adjust accordingly. Like Barcelona from 2008 to 2012 and Real Madrid from 2015 to 2018, they made very few changes in their respective squads. The reason why these squads go down in one of the best squads history of football.

Comment below your opinions, should Manchester City focus on developing their academy players rather than making big transfers?

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