One line out of Manchester City’s anthem – ‘Blue Moon’ reads, “You saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart…” – a refrain true until the Abu Dhabi United Group took a liking and splurged on the team in 2008.
The acquisition of Pep Guardiola in 2016 could become the biggest investment when the story is told in the future.
A Blue Moon is a rare sight – something that encapsulated Manchester City’s league-winning existence before 2008. Before winning the English Premier League in 2012, the last triumph had been in 1968 – a truly Blue Moon occurrence. But in the seven years that have followed, City have won the EPL twice – no more a Blue Moon, you will agree.
But that should improve with Guardiola, who has a glowing track record of winning, especially league titles.
It did not look like it nine months after Guardiola’s appointment because Manchester City achieved none of their targets. After they were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stage, they were knocked out in the FA Cup and found wanting in the EPL where they finished third, 15 points behind league winners, Chelsea.
But on April 15, 2018, Guardiola won his seventh league title in his last nine seasons as a manager when Manchester United, a week after beating their rivals at the Etihad lost at Old Trafford to the league’s bottom side, West Brom.
With that triumph, he joined an elite group of managers to have won league titles in at least three of the top five European leagues of England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The other two are Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho.
While it has an inflection on what has transpired since City became moneyed – over £1 billion [£1,136,841,000] spent in the last 10 years, the eclectic quality of their play this season has won them more converts than ever before whilst burnishing Guardiola’s credentials.
The 47-year-old Catalan is a special breed amongst modern-day managers because of the specifics of his preparation and how he wants his teams to play. Guardiola has argued he is not a miracle worker but one who needs special players to achieve his goals.
“It is impossible to do that, to play the way we play, the results we achieved, without top players. It’s impossible,” he told Daily Mail.
“And today, the top players cost a lot of money. When you say: “Pep, what you have done in Barcelona or Bayern Munich is it possible to do that without those big players?” No, it’s impossible, so be calm,” he added.
The City owners will remain calm, knowing it is a matter of time before their Blue Moon rises over Europe after eclipsing England.