Now that everyone has had a few days to digest the final week of the Premier League season, we can begin to look back on the highs and lows of Manchester City's campaign.
The supporters went in to this season with great expectations after seeing arguably the world’s best manager arrive at the club along with several top class players and youth talents. However, the bar was set a bit too high and many will look back on the season with disappointment. While this is still partly justified, some of the amazing improvement in certain areas has been looked over.
City had just come off of a mentally draining final season with Manuel Pellegrini, only landing themselves in fourth place in the league with several massive problems. The signing of Pep Guardiola gave fans a feeling of relief knowing that he's obsessed about the game and capable of sorting out any mishaps within the squad.
What we did not prepare for was the amount of time this would take. To expect all problems to magically disappear as soon as Pep took over was rather naive, but that does not mean substantial progress wasn't made.
The players’ passing play has strengthened drastically. They have figured out how to utilize every part of the pitch to move the ball from the goalkeeper all the way up to the striker to find the net. This also took immense dedication to possession.
More often than not, stats proved that City had the ball for more than 60% of matches. When the ball is lost, the players know exactly how to win it back within seconds by throwing pressure onto the opposition. This was demonstrated perfectly during the 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Etihad.
Several players expanded their talents as well. Yaya Toure was completely reborn, going from a liability to a crucial first team player. He now appears set for a contract extension. Young players such as Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling saw their abilities bolstered by the manager as well. They ran defenders into the ground all season and seemed to be the best solution for City’s sudden goalscoring inability.
Sergio Aguero has also just had his best season in terms of his goal count, reaching a total of thirty-three goals in all competitions. He has gelled into the new system and will remain as a star at the club for seasons to come.
Oh, and there's also Gabriel Jesus, who might just be the world's next superstar striker and was involved in 10 goals in 10 league appearances during his debut season. Yeah, he's good.
Manchester City have a long way to go before they reach their goals with Pep Guardiola, but the Catalan’s first season has seen progress. Here’s to even more next year!