Empezó la Champions League

Con los duelos eliminatorios para pasar a la ronda de grupos arrancó la Champions

Champions League - FC Barcelona vs Olympiacos

Soccer Football - Champions League - FC Barcelona vs Olympiacos - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - October 18, 2017 Fans in the stands display the Estelada (Catalan flag of independence) REUTERS/Albert Gea

Mo Way! Neither Newcastle or Aston Villa Fans Seem to Want Mo Diame After Newcastle Star Linked

​Newcastle fans have reacted with excitement at rumours circling that Mo Diame could set for a move to Aston Villa in January following a lacklustre fifteen months at St James Park. Despite scoring the goal that earned Hull victory in 2016 Championship Play Off Final, Diame remained in English football's second tier for another season after joining Newcastle, and although he was a regular feature of the team that secured a return to the Premier League as champions, Diame has made just one...

Zidane hopes Ronaldo rediscovers scoring touch at Atletico

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 file photo, Atletico coach Diego Simeone watches the game during their Group C Champions League soccer match against Qarabag at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain. Real Madrid plays its first derby at Atletico Madrids new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18. Diego Simeones team has won only two of its last nine games in all competitions. (AP Photo/Paul White, file)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 file photo, Atletico coach Diego Simeone watches the game during their Group C Champions League soccer match against Qarabag at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain. Real Madrid plays its first derby at Atletico Madrid’s new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18. Diego Simeone’s team has won only two of its last nine games in all competitions. (AP Photo/Paul White, file)

Volley - C1 (F) - Ligue des champions (F) : Mulhouse avec Zurich au premier tour

Mulhouse sera notamment opposé à Zurich au premier tour de la Ligue des champions cette saison.

90min Exclusive: Former Chelsea Star Names His Amazing 'Dream' 5-a-Side Team

​Former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou has named three former Blues teammates in his 'dream' 5-a-side team - with some surprise inclusions in current Blues' star David Luiz and Ivory Coast teammate Gervinho.  The Ivorian forward won the Premier League and Champions League with the Blues during his six-year stint in west London, and it was his time at Stamford Bridge that he drew the majority of his team from.  He told 90min: "I'm going to say Yaya Toure, and obviously Didier [Drogba]. I have to...

90min Exclusive: Former Chelsea Star Names His Amazing 'Dream' 5-a-Side Team

​Former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou has named three former Blues teammates in his 'dream' 5-a-side team - with some surprise inclusions in current Blues' star David Luiz and Ivory Coast teammate Gervinho.  The Ivorian forward won the Premier League and Champions League with the Blues during his six-year stint in west London, and it was his time at Stamford Bridge that he drew the majority of his team from.  He told 90min: "I'm going to say Yaya Toure, and obviously Didier [Drogba]. I have to...

90min Exclusive: Former Chelsea Star Names His Amazing 'Dream' 5-a-Side Team

​Former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou has named three former Blues teammates in his 'dream' 5-a-side team - with some surprise inclusions in current Blues' star David Luiz and Ivory Coast teammate Gervinho.  The Ivorian forward won the Premier League and Champions League with the Blues during his six-year stint in west London, and it was his time at Stamford Bridge that he drew the majority of his team from.  He told 90min: "I'm going to say Yaya Toure, and obviously Didier [Drogba]. I have to...

Volley - C1 (H) - Ligue des champions (H) : Chaumont et Toulouse connaissent leurs adversaires du premier tour

Chaumont et Toulouse croiseront des équipes russes et polonaises au premier tour de la Ligue des champions.

Ronaldo Tak Gentar Real Madrid Berpeluang Jumpa PSG

Ronaldo memperingatkan PSG kalau Real Madrid sudah dua tahun beruntun jadi juara Liga Champions.

PSSI Bicara soal Jatah Indonesia di Liga Champions Asia

Berapa jatah Indonesia di Liga Champions Asia musim 2018?

5 Alasan Barcelona Akan Juara Liga Champions Musim Ini

Barcelona tengah menunjukkan performa bagus di La Liga dan Liga Champions.

Champions League - Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

Soccer Football - Champions League - Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid - Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany - September 26, 2017 Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their third goal with Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

Chapecoense avoids relegation one year after plane crash

FILE- In tis file photo dated Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, Lille's forward Tulio De Melo jubilates after scoring during his Champions League play-off round, 2nd leg soccer match against FC Copenhagen at Lille's stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Tulio de Melo said Friday Nov. 17, 2017, that the team have honored the memory of their dead teammates, by avoiding relegation in the Brazilian championship, one year after an air crash killed 19 of its players in Colombia. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, FILE)

FILE- In tis file photo dated Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, Lille's forward Tulio De Melo jubilates after scoring during his Champions League play-off round, 2nd leg soccer match against FC Copenhagen at Lille's stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Tulio de Melo said Friday Nov. 17, 2017, that the team have honored the memory of their dead teammates, by avoiding relegation in the Brazilian championship, one year after an air crash killed 19 of its players in Colombia. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, FILE)

FILE- In tis file photo dated Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, Lille's forward Tulio De Melo jubilates after scoring during his Champions League play-off round, 2nd leg soccer match against FC Copenhagen at Lille's stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. Tulio de Melo said Friday Nov. 17, 2017, that the team have honored the memory of their dead teammates, by avoiding relegation in the Brazilian championship, one year after an air crash killed 19 of its players in Colombia. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, FILE)

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with Sergio Ramos

Britain Soccer Football - Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final - The National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff - June 3, 2017 Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with Sergio Ramos Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. If was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. If was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. If was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. If was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Champions League - Chelsea vs AS Roma

Soccer Football - Champions League - Chelsea vs AS Roma - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - October 18, 2017 Chelsea's David Luiz celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

David Luiz returns to squad as Conte insists youngsters are ‘future of Chelsea’

David Luiz trains with Chelsea team-mates at Stamford Bridge ahead of the champions’ visit to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Ross County vs Celtic: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview

The Hoops will have one eye on their Champions League bout against PSG when they take to the field in the Highlands on Saturday

Ross County vs Celtic: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview

The Hoops will have one eye on their Champions League bout against PSG when they take to the field in the Highlands on Saturday

Ross County vs Celtic: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview

The Hoops will have one eye on their Champions League bout against PSG when they take to the field in the Highlands on Saturday

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