Manchester City Should Prioritise The Champions League

Manchester City picked up a home draw against Shakhtar Donetsk last night ( Match Report) as they secured safe passage into the knock-out stages of the Champions League, with a game in hand.

For me, City and their manager Pep Guardiola should probably make Europe’s most elite club competition their top priority this season.

When I say that I don’t mean that they just discount their chances of winning a third Premier League title in a row or win any of the other domestic trophies. They should always go into every game looking to win it.

But they now have a break from the Champions League, well before their next meaningful tie. If they come back to it in the new year and they’re still around nine points behind league leaders Liverpool, then they should definitely concentrate more on the Champions League.

The Citizens have never won Europe’s top trophy and it really is the pinnacle of European football. It’s such an illustrious prize that I can’t imagine that when Sheikh Mansour bought the club in the summer of 2008, he didn’t have it as a major goal for City’s future.

In the eleven years since that sensational takeover the City Football Group have ploughed hundreds of millions into the football club (Just today the BBC announced that the Group had received further huge investment). The constant source to vast sums has seen Man City win major domestic trophies, bring in a world class coach in Guardiola and amass a wonderful strong that has strength in depth and full of talented footballers!

There’s no reason for City not to challenge for this trophy, especially if they give it their full concentration. They have players in Sergio Augero, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva that can change any game in their favour.

They’ve also got a terrific goalkeeper in Ederson and a strong defence if everyone stays fit.

These players must dream of one day lifting that huge trophy; whilst the Champions League theme blares from stadium speakers and glaring pyro goes off in the background.

Pep must also be itching to get his hands back on that coveted prize.

In the past the Spaniard has stated that he wasn’t brought to the Etihad to win the Champions League:

“In my first press conference in my first year in Manchester it was the same question– ‘you are here to win the Champions League’.

“I said ‘OK’ but I spoke a few times with Khaldoon (Al Mubarak), our chairman, and Ferran (Soriano, chief executive). They didn’t tell me that.”

Via The Belfast Telegraph

I suspect Pep is just trying to take the pressure off of his players. If it wasn’t said to him directly, then I think that’s because it didn’t need to be said.

Guardiola is commonly thought of as being the best in the business, you don’t bring a manager in with that pedigree, spend huge sums on players and not imagine that he’ll deliver the biggest trophies.

The coach himself will want to prove that he’s the best. To do that he needs to win back the Champions League for the first time since his FC Barcelona days.

The one thing Jose Mourinho still has over Guardiola is that he’s got a better European winning record!

I do believe the ultimate goal for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City is to secure the crown that they’ve never succeeded in before and become one of Europe’s truly elite football clubs.

They might not get a better chance than they’ve got this term and they should look at giving themselves the best possible chance and that’s by making it their top priority this year.

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