Manchester City’s dominance of English football in the last several years has drawn reactions from different quarters. While opposition fans and even club executives have explained the team’s success as just a function of throwing vast amounts of money away to purchase trophies, those objective enough to see the real picture know it’s beyond just money.
For sure money does help and that has got a club like Newcastle really dreaming of becoming one of Europe’s elite in the next few years. Despite not spending huge amounts of money yet to overhaul the squad, an injection of self belief has seen the Magpies already pushing for a Champions League place. The team has lost just once in the Premier League this season.
All of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and even Tottenham have spent heavily in the last five years to challenge for the Premier League title. Yet, it is Man City that have won the league in four of the last five seasons. That clearly shows it’s not just a question of money; other factors also play a role.
Kevin De Bruyne has been instrumental to City in that time frame regularly featuring as the team’s most important player. In an attempt to explain what is really responsible for the team’s success, the Belgian has pinpointed qualities that opposition fans rarely like to give the club credit for.
“...I think this team is set up to go again and again. I think we have shown that over the last seven or eight years. Even if we didn’t win it, we were second or third. We are always fighting to go again and it is a squad with great humility. Even if we won last year, we don’t take it for granted and we want to go again. It is a nice feeling to win and we try to achieve that every year. The hard work comes first and the enjoyment maybe comes later,” De Bruyne said in a recent interview.
Top players are a common denominator among the several top clubs in the English top flight. However, it takes real hunger, hard work and humility to go again and again, season after season, even after achieving success. That in turn helps the team to keep winning and stay at the top.
These are qualities that are rarely associated with Manchester City. The manager, the team and the club as a whole are not usually given credit for these qualities.
But they hugely account for the team’s continuous success. In every campaign, Manchester City start out with the desire to outdo the previous season’s success. The club has gone from reaching the quarter-final to the semi-final and then the final of the Champions League in recent years.
Having won all the trophies on offer at the top flight in England, only the continental trophy remains to be lifted. Maintaining the humility, hunger and hard work De Bruyne spoke about will be important to help the team go one better.