Man City boss Pep Guardiola singles out 'Superman' Nicolas Otamendi for praise

Man City boss Pep Guardiola singles out 'Superman' Nicolas Otamendi for praise

The Portuguese coach recently bemoaned the fact that his managerial rival at the Etihad Stadium has an almost limitless transfer fund at his disposal, with Manchester City buying "full-backs for the price of strikers".

LONDON-Pep Guardiola hopes to end the year with another illustration of his Manchester City aristocrats at their irresistible best.

"Just to convince them is not so complicated".

Newcastle United became the latest to roll over yesterday morning (Singapore time) in a 1-0 defeat without even troubling Pep Guardiola's side who have moved 15 points clear at the top before the New Year.

Within three minutes of Manchester City's 1-0 win over Newcastle, Kyle Walker came over to the away dug-out with a message: "Vinny's got a problem with his calf". Perhaps Mourinho's efforts would be better served attempting to fit that player into his system, rather than dropping Mkhitaryan from the squad, delivering cryptic messages to him through the media and proceeding to flutter his eyelashes at the ever-reliably unreliable, Mesut Ozil. Pep Guardiola's side look certain to lift the title after extending their Premier League record winning streak to 18 matches.

It is a mentality put to shame by a handful of managers who the self-styled masters of the football universe would deride as 'old school' but who work wonders on shoestring budgets.

One thing seems certain.

In the adversity, City found resources to maintain their lead in the second half in spite of the pressure imposed by Newcastle United.

Manchester City
MANCHESTER CITY FC Manchester City

Try telling that to the legions of white-flag wavers on Manchester City's English Premier League title procession.

De Bruyne struck a post and defender Jamaal Lascelles headed just wide of his own goal with Elliot stranded as City went for the kill.

Guardiola had actually arrived at that conclusion in his first summer in charge, due to perceived weak spots in the centre-back's game as much as fitness concerns.

The only club in Europe's five biggest leagues to have had a winning run that long is Bayern Munich under Guardiola in 2013-14. Then they pounce as opponents become frustrated, pushing forward hoping to win the ball back from the City defenders taking a breather, only to realize they're stretched thin - but it's too late.

"You have to find and search for a way to attack them when they defend with 11 players in the box, when a striker goes with our holding midfielder, and there are nine or 10 players there waiting for a throw-in or free-kick or corner".

"I am sure that will be the same with all the Manchester City players".

"Look at the improvements". It has not dampened the desire of those at the league's summit to make more from this growing revenue stream. Their wage bill will probably flirt around £90 million for the 2017/18 season. Eliaquim Mangala was expected to leave, while Aleksandar Kolarov had thrown a spanner in the works by unexpectedly asking to join Roma.

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