Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival as
savior the new manager of Manchester City has proven a massive distraction for the club’s players as the current Premier League season winds down, according to manager Manuel Pellegrini, because professional soccer players are, in fact, humans — it’s true, we checked.
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When it was announced Guardiola would be taking over at the Etihad Stadium in the summer, with Pellegrini stepping aside to make way, Man City were second in the PL table, just three points behind then- and current leaders Leicester City. In the five games prior, they had won three and drawn three. In the six games that followed immediately thereafter, they won just twice and lost three times (by a combined score of 8-2) — quotes from the Guardian:
“It’s not easy for the players when you read in newspapers all the things that will happen next season, all the players who will go out, all the players that will come in. It’s not easy for the players to focus their mind. But this squad has a lot of character. We never give up.”
The speculation over players coming to and going from the Etihad this summer are very real, as Pellegrini points out. One might suggest it would cause a professional to hunker down and used the final three months of the season as an audition, to show Guardiola that he’s good enough to play for him. Instead, most of City’s key figures have seen their form fall off a cliff and their futures more in doubt now than every before.
So, about that squad with “a lot of character.”