Pep Guardiola is all set to start life as boss of Manchester City and it seems like he will be given a very short honeymoon period in which to adjust to climes of England. As the Premier League fixtures for the next season were announced earlier this week, City fans found their attention drawn by the opening set of matches that their side will have to manoeuvre.
The Cityzens open the new campaign with a comparatively unimpressive tie against Sunderland at the Etihad. Following this, they have a tricky fixture away at the Britannia against a beefy Stoke side which will quickly followed by a testing home encounter against an on-the-rise West Ham United who are in the process of carrying out some pretty ambitions plans of their own. If three tricky opening fixtures on the bounce was not enough to test how well Pep Guardiola has adapted to life in England, then a mouth-watering fourth tie sees the blue half of Manchester face-off against their cross-town rivals in the first Manchester Derby of the season.
There’s no easy fixture in the Barclays Premier League, and Pep will find that fact out for himself once the new season gets underway. From my point of view, I’d have liked to have seen our club get a less testing series of fixtures to open the new campaign with, but considering how ties against the bigger teams are inevitable, it’s good that we’re getting these matches over with early because that would mean that we have a major part of the season still left.
Honestly though, I have my doubts about how well the Man City machine will be performing by the time Sunderland come to town because it goes without saying that every manager has his own playing style that should take a while to be properly implemented by his players. A poor start, though, will heap pressure on to our new boss, and that’s something no City fan would want. On the flipside, if our boys can get off to a good start, then we’ll have a terrific bit of momentum on our side even before some of our rivals can really put their foot on the gas.
Laying down an early marker is a massive mental advantage to have once the season really gets going. Starting off strong is on the agenda of each every single one of the 20 teams who will be participating in the new Barclays Premier League season but only a few will be able to actually pull it off. While I don’t care how the other 19 teams go about their business in the opening few gameweeks, I’m extremely keen on seeing Manchester City get the Guardiola era off to a flier.