Pep Guardiola has revealed how Manchester City went back to their ‘principles’, in order to spark their current record-breaking run of form.
After flying slightly under the radar in the opening months of the season, they have sprung to life in 2021 and are currently enjoying a sparkling run of form which has seen them win 15 consecutive games in all competitions.
That string of victories is now the longest winning run by a top-flight side in English football history and has left them well-placed to complete their second domestic treble in just three seasons, with them still in the running to lift the FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League.
In the league, in particular, Man City now look firm favourites as they are currently five points clear at the summit, with a game in hand on rivals Manchester United in second.
Guardiola’s men look almost impenetrable at the back, while they’re attacking play has finally clicked into gear following a low-scoring start the season.
According to the former Barcelona boss, their recent breathtaking form is down to getting back to their ‘principles’ following their draw against West Brom back in mid-December – the last game they failed to win.
“We could’ve won [against West Brom] with two incredible chances at the end but after that game, I felt this is not the team I can recognise myself,” Guardiola said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Tottenham. “I didn’t like what I watched, I didn’t like what I saw.
“We talked with Juanma, Rodo, Manel and Txiki and we said, ‘OK, we have to come back to our first principle,’ and we had to reconstruct the team from that point. What we are as a team, how we had success in the past.
“We had to come back to our game, move the ball quicker, do more passes, stay in position, run less with the ball, do it together. We don’t have a specific player to win games, we have to do it together.
“But above all that was the commitment of the players. They talked, they thought, ‘OK we have to do more’ and they did it.
“After that we didn’t press ourselves too much. We just said to win the next game, don’t think we are in a position to win the Premier League or whatever, we are not good enough to compete right now. Win the next game with our principles and see what happened.
“Everyone dropped points and we didn’t do it. What we want to do is continue with those principles as long as possible.
“A defeat is coming. It is going to come. This is exceptional, because this has never before been done since English football started.
“We came back to what I said from day one when I arrived here. We have to do this, this, this. The results and the qualities of the players did the rest.”