Manchester City’s success in the last decade-plus has been nothing short of incredible. The club has gone from being mere dreamers and just wishing to be among Europe’s elite to finally becoming one of the very best teams in world football.
From Roberto Mancini to Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola as managers, the result has been the same - establishing a new culture of winning. And the club’s fortunes keep getting better. The 2008 takeover by Abu Dhabi United Group heralded the start of a new era.
Achieving success has not been easy over the years, but the habit of winning is now well ingrained in the team. Granted, money will always be a part of the success equation, but unlike the picture a section of the media would like to paint, there’s more to City’s success than just money.
If it was just a matter of money, neighbours Manchester United would be as successful in the same period if not more. Instead, the Red Devils have continued to struggle since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
For City, it has been a relentless pursuit of excellence. Each achievement has served as fuel for the next. Bad results have been seen as not only temporary setbacks but motivation to strive harder.
The manager confirmed this in his post match interview after the game at Everton. It was a match City went into half time losing 1-0 before coming back to turn the result around in the second half.
“Football and life is like that, how you react in difficult moments,” Guardiola said while reflecting on the encounter.
“We’d love to be 4-0 up after 20 minutes but in real football it happens. It happens against Palace, how you overcome those situations.
“I remember on the plane after coming back from Saudi Arabia and we were world champions and I listened to the players when they didn’t know I was listening and they started to talk about Everton,” he said. “I said, ‘wow this is my team’.
“I have the feeling they still want to try. We play many games this season and people say we are not the same. We have lost one of the last 12 or 13.
“Aston Villa were miles better but in the rest we were better. We don’t talk enough about how good we are.
“We were really pleased with how we reacted and it proved again how special this group of players is and the mentality that we all have in our bones.”
This is a quality that is at the core of Man City’s unprecedented success.
It’s the winning mentality and unrelenting drive for more. Refusing to settle for less and going for the very best available, continuously.