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Things we learned about All Or Nothing: Manchester City

Cian Carroll | 28 August 2018

What did we learn about the Premier League champions?

Amazon Prime’s documentary All Or Nothing: Manchester City hit the airwaves recently to critical acclaim.

The eight-part series shone a behind-the-scenes spotlight on City’s title-winning campaign last season.

It was enthralling stuff and gave a significant insight into how a major football club operates. And also how one of the best coaches in the world works.

The Coral News Team take a look at some of the things we learned from it…

Guardiola’s intensity

Pep Guardiola has spoken previously about how he can only do three to four-year stints at clubs before he becomes worn out.

And watching the documentary, that was laid bare. His instructions and tactical presentations are delivered with such ferocity, it must become exhausting.

Not just for Guardiola, either. The players must surely suffer from it after an extended period of time. There’s only so many times you can hear the same words repeated before they eventually lose their effect.

Txiki and Ferran

Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano have been pulling the strings at the Etihad Stadium long before Guardiola arrived.

The former Barcelona directors are long-time cohorts of the Catalan coach. Soriano is the Chief Executive, while Begiristain is the Director of Football.

The duo are basically responsible for transfers and new contracts. And, alongside chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the general ease with which they settle on certain deals is disarming.

The Aymeric Laporte transfer, and the discussions over Alexis Sanchez are particularly eye-opening.

Close-knit squad

In a group of multi-millionaires and huge names in the world of football, the lack of egos caught the attention.

Begiristain, Soriano, and Guardiola seem to have built and fostered a great atmosphere amongst the players. On a number of occasions, it was heart-warming to see how well the players integrated and got on. And not just with each other, but with the backroom team, too.

The kit assistant, Brandon Ashton, was as big a character as any in the dressing room. Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne spoke glowing about the effect that Ashton had had on the club and the players over a number of years.

The class of Kompany

Footballers tend to have a reputation for not being very clever or involved in non-footballing matters.

But Kompany certainly bucks that trend. His intelligence practically drips from the screen in each scene he’s involved. One, in particular, in which he addresses a class of local school kids shows the measure of the man.

The Belgium and City captain has suffered badly with injuries over the years. But it was also surprising to see how mentally strong he is when coping with enforced absences.

Pep the bluffer

For a coach who seems to believe he has all the answers to football’s questions, Guardiola gave a trade secret away. Apparently, he doesn’t.

After the 5-0 drubbing City gave Liverpool early in the season, Guardiola addresses the cameras and gives the following response: “I don’t have all the answers. Often when I don’t know something, I act in front of the players as if I do. I do it so they believe I have the answers and that gives them the confidence to play.”

It was a very candid answer from the coaching savant, and surprisingly earnest, too. But if his players watched – which they surely did – it’s possible they could question whether he’s bluffing the next time he issues instructions.

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