Manchester City have broken modern records for goals scored this season
They have been playing easily some of the best football in the Premier League
Manchester City top the Premier League with a staggering 29 goals after just eight matches. They have been the best side in the division and look like probable champions.
Compare and contrast this to how they did last season. They finished third and had issues across the park. While they often looked good, they regularly looked just as bad, particularly at the back.
So what has changed? How are they doing so much better? And what genius ideas has manager Pep Guardiola implemented to make this side one of the most beautiful to watch in Premier League history?
Over and over again, City seem to seek out one position on the pitch.
There’s a gap in the space behind the full back and centre back in most defences. It’s a difficult place to find because an outstretched leg or a clever block can easily stop a ball from reaching it.
But City find it.
Watching them it’s difficult not to notice it. Their players constantly seek out this spot, that perhaps could be called ‘the pocket’.
But, as someone once commented to me, playing De Bruyne out wide should be a sackable offence.
Both players have an incredible eye for a pass, can drive teams up the park and have, as has been demonstrated this season, an impeccable sense of when to time a run.
They are always willing to get into the area and support the striker.
Few midfield combinations in the top flight would also be able to play the passes they do to find people in ‘the pocket’.
And this creativity in the centre is backed up by the brilliant Fernandinho, the best and simultaneously the most underrated pure defensive midfielder in the league.