Manchester City are probably the best team in Europe.
They’re certainly the best in England. They have wiped the floor with the league this far – undefeated and looking imperious.
Their record against the top six is phenomenal. They’ve won every encounter, with an aggregate score of 15-3.
Pep Guardiola has fashioned a slick, disciplined, effective, clinical and mesmerising unit. They deserve to be heralded as one of the best teams the Premier League has seen.
But it does not feel right.
It does not feel right because Manchester City were mediocre before recent investment. It does not feel right because they hired the best coach in world football because of said investment. It does not feel right because they’ve spent more money on players than any other club because of said investment. It does not feel right because they still cannot fill out their stadium.
These aren’t the bitter lamentations of a support who has watched his side’s chance of Premier League success wither into impossibility, but observations rooted in a moral surveying of the game.
And yes, Manchester United have spent a lot; Chelsea have spent a lot; Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool have all spent considerable sums, too. United and Chelsea titles were the product of steady investment as much as managerial ability.
But something does not sit right with the way in which City are regarded as a pure symbol of footballing ideology.
They’re embarking on a global mission to conquer the commercial aspect of football, all the while neglecting the fact that they have a relatively small fan-base.
They’re conceiving themselves as having entered footballing royalty; they represent new money, rather than aristocracy. And while this analogy has deplorable ramifications in the social, human and non-football world, it adds to the sense City simply do not belong in a moral sense.
These may be words stemming from jealousy, or envy. These may be words that seek to reflect raw feeling, rather than fact. But, for me, seeing City dominate so impressively does not sit comfortably.
Written by Michael Jones
Follow Michael on Twitter @jonesmichael_97
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