Former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is in the news for his take on Pep Guardiola’s future at the club. The former England international believes the Catalan manager will remain at the Etihad Stadium for the foreseeable future until he conquers Europe by winning the Champions League with Man City. In a football world now rife with speculations about players’ and managers’ futures, that may serve to soothe some nerves among the City faithful. But then that is just Lescott’s opinion.
However, Guardiola himself has denied such rumours linking him with a move away from the club as a result of the ongoing financial fair play investigations and possible negative outcomes. That may well be a distraction from the job at hand which entails guiding City to a first Champions League trophy win in the club’s history. That should not be mistaken for failure to win in Europe before as the club has a European trophy in the cabinet won decades ago, although it was not named the Champions League.
Still on Lescott, he also weighed in on City’s chances as far as winning the competition is concerned. While acknowledging the abundance of quality players in the side, he claimed the team’s undoing will likely be the lack of experience in the competition. In his own words:
”Man City could still slip up in the latter stages of the tournament through lack of experience within the squad because not many of the Man City players have as much experience within the Champions League semi-finals. It would be a shame as they are definitely ready to win the Champions League.”
The problem with blaming City’s limited chances of winning the competition on inexperience is that it could become a crippling excuse that stops the players in their tracks. Human beings are largely influenced by what they hear and see. A people’s belief system affects their results. Consistently hearing they can’t win the Champions League because they don’t have the requisite experience to win it could become the real stumbling block to achieving the goal.
Sure, experience is vital. But inexperience never stopped anyone from doing anything. The opportunity to win the competition has not been greater for Man City. A careful look at the remaining sides in the competition reveals that only the Sky Blues can stop themselves from achieving success this term. Man City has got all it takes to go all the way.
Starting from the next opponent Tottenham, getting the job done against Mauricio Pochettino’s men shouldn’t be a tough ask. Although anything can happen in football, City has consistently gotten the better of Spurs in recent times.
And none of the other remaining contenders will present an insurmountable obstacle for the Sky Blues. Whether we get to face Barcelona, Juventus or Liverpool in the final stages, this City team can do the job. So Man City’s biggest obstacle to success in Europe is not out there; it’s in the mentality and approach to the competition by the manager and players.