Premier League English

Guardiola adamant Man City success not down to money

Manchester United and Chelsea would be challenging Manchester City and Arsenal for the Premier League title if success if it all only came down to money spent, proffers Pep Guardiola.

The muti-award-winning Manager who’smore than successfully helmed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City firmly rejects the notion his side’s success is getting to be boring task – and says they wouldn’t be sitting at the top if money was the only reason accounting for it.

City are only two wins from a historic fourth successive English league title, and three wins from becoming the first club to do the domestic league and FA Cup Double in successive seasons.

Being again on the brink of repeating their triumphs, an air of inevitability about their success seems to be shrouding them, especially after a 21-match unbeaten run that has included just four draws.

They have won their past four games by an aggregate score of 15-1. Despite not having never scored a league goal at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, few would expect the Sky Blues to drop points, and they are also overwhelming in the hot seat to beat West Ham on the final day.

“It’s not boring,” said Guardiola. “It’s difficult.

“Before it was the money. For that reason, Manchester United should have won all the titles, Chelsea – all the titles, Arsenal – all the titles. They spend as much money in the last five years as us. They should be there. They are not there.

“For that reason Girona shouldn’t be in the Champions League [next season] and Leicester should win the Premier League.”

While City can hardly ever be labelled as being a club short on finances, they believe the club is seventh in the list of net spend in the Premier League over the past five years, less than half that of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal but also trailing Tottenham, Newcastle and Aston Villa.

A substantial factor in bringing their figure down to £259m has been their ability to sell players such as Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte and Cole Palmer for substantial sumsm despite the fact that none of these players would be regarded as automatic first choices. Albeit having been all this while a vital part of the successful City journey, without them the Sky Blues are still closing in on becoming the first side since the English league was created in 1888 to win the top flight four seasons in a row.

Guardiola concedes that the thought was not forefront in City minds at the start of the season. However now that it is imminently close, an understanding of what the achievement would mean is finally beginning to take shape.

“In the beginning of the season we didn’t think about it,” he said. “But then we were in February, March and April, we were still there. After that it ignites something in all our heads.

“No team has done it. That shows how hard it is. Liverpool in the ’80s, Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in the ’90s. Chelsea with [Roman] Abramovich and Jose [Mourinho], Arsenal with [Arsene] Wenger didn’t do it.”