Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has something his club so desperately wants, and he feels a similar urgency to get it for them.
Guardiola led Barcelona to two Champions League titles as manager, the first coming 17 years after he won the European Cup there as a player.
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And while City has run riot over the Premier League record books during his tenure, playing a quality of football rarely seen, it’s all about the shiny stuff.
“We will, of course, not just be judged on the way we play but the titles we win,” Guardiola said as City prepares to meet Spurs on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
“That is the truth. It is as simple as that.”
Guardiola reinforced that he’s happy with the way his team is playing this season despite a massive gulf between it and leaders Liverpool.
Some numbers back him, with expected goals saying City should actually be leading the table (which, of course, points to the stat’s imperfection).
Pep’s men are 90 minutes versus Aston Villa from his third League Cup, which would be the boss’ eighth trophy at Man City (Two Premier Leagues, one FA Cup, two Community Shields).
And, of course, there’s Real Madrid in the UCL Round of 16 beginning Feb. 26 in Spain.
“We believe in this way. Last year was an extraordinary one for us but people say, ‘but you didn’t win the Champions League.’ That is why I will be judged – if we don’t win it in my final period here I will be a failure here, I know that. I enjoy working with my players and my players still win a lot of games but I cannot say more. I cannot pretend that the people believe what we’ve done as a team. If you agree with me or not, it is not a problem.”Follow @NicholasMendola