Premier League restarts after 100 days of being postponed (Part 2)

Jurgen Klopp’s students played the ball with the highest performance, forming a strong team beyond imagination. Last season, they earned the third highest score in English Premier League history, but still one point behind the City champions. Klopp stated that Liverpool will play more focused this season. And he was right.

Answering to The Athletic in November 2019, Klopp revealed how to change the students’ competitive mentality. The Liverpool boys are like bullets that have been loaded, just waiting for Klopp to pull the trigger. But the German military commander had no plans to improve the mentality of the students.

Instead, he pays tribute to the team’s psychologist – Lee Richardson. The results exceeded expectations. From a team that often collapsed under pressure throughout the season, Liverpool was all acknowledged.

Liverpool struggled to win

Even when sharp cracks appear, they are healed immediately. Liverpool struggled to win at the last minute against Sheffield, Leicester, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace, not to mention Adam Lallana’s late equalizer at Old Trafford.

It all took eight weeks, culminating in a victory over Man City on November 10, 2019. Three months earlier at Burnley, Sadio Mane was clearly angry at Mohamed Salah despite the home team leading 3-0. The two stars reconcile even before entering the locker room.

Both Mane and Salah need an ego to reach today’s level. A man who left his family, left his village in Senegal to pursue his football dream. The rest also had to travel throughout Egypt on mini buses. They combined with a Brazilian striker possessing strange white teeth, forming a trio that fascinates the soccer world.

Goals from Fabinho, Salah and Mane have helped Liverpool beat Man City nine points after 12 matches. The gap has been widening ever since. Coach Pep Guardiola has the right to question the referee.

Just a few dozen seconds before Fabinho opened the scoring, the ball touched Alexander-Arnold in Liverpool’s penalty area. Guardiola waited for VAR’s decision, but the goal was still recognized.

There are six players conceding both Liverpool and Man City this season, including Teemu Pukki. The Finnish striker, 29, first tried in the Premier League, but integrated as fast as the fish met the water. The people of the fishing village of Kotka in Finland were not surprised by the explosion of their native son Pukki earlier in the season.


The way Man City rose to be the global football empire (Part 4)

It is understandable that part of Mancini’s salary is paid by Al Jariza, and the name “adviser” is just an excuse. Salaries went to Mancini from Man City, to Al Jariza, then to Sparkleglow Holdings – an offshore company in Mauritius.

Offshore companies are usually set up in countries that are considered tax havens, like Mauritius. It can carry out tax-free financial transactions. This is how Man City paid Mancini wages, at least in 2011. Without the law-bypassing scheme, vague payments and suspicious money injection, Man City has not been as successful as it is now.

From a little-known football team, Man City became a global brand, under the name City Football Group (CFG). When we drink a cup of Starbucks, whether in Seattle or Singapore, we have to pay exorbitant prices. So are the soccer branches of Man City.

Man City, New York City or Melbourne City all have the same logo, shirt color and sponsors. It was Etihad Airlines. In addition, Man City also owns shares in teams of Uruguay, Spain and Japan. They signed a cooperation agreement with clubs in the Scandinavian peninsula, and opened a football academy in Africa.

The investment in Girona Club in Spain has the same model. “Young City players need to rub in a highly qualified tournament. Girona will create opportunities for them”, the internal Man City document said. Due to the quality of City’s first team, young players are sent to branch teams to develop. The global football system makes it easy for Man City coaches to filter out players good enough to lift Manchester.

Rarely has any team kept up with City and the “global empire”. For over 11 years, Mansour spent nearly three billion dollars on Man City. Last season, their net profit reached more than 10 million pounds. This profit is not really attractive compared to the investment of billions of dollars.

Not to mention Mansour is always willing to pay for the expensive players. But, Man City is still on the rise. In 2008, Mansour bought Man City for £ 100 million.


The way Man City rose to be the global football empire (Part 2)

Mansour is the half-brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ). MbZ is considered the current head of the UAE, when President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has suffered health problems since 2014. The Al Nahyan family has not interfered with the management of Man City, which they assigned to their subordinates.

When Mansour bought Man City, MbZ sent Simon Pearce to be one of the directors. According to an investigation by Der Spiegel (Germany), Pearce is a PR expert of MbZ, responsible for implementing ghost sponsorship contracts for Man City. He represented Abu Dhabi in negotiations, but still needed Khaldoon to pass decisions. “OK, let’s go,” sometimes Khaldoon just needs to text.

Pearce and his Manchester City directors drew enough ways to manipulate the contract, dealing with Financial Fairness laws. Their secret activities are all codenamed. They are willing to resolve foreign affairs with tacit agreements.

The appointment of Guardiola is also an understatement. The contract between Man City and Guardiola was signed on October 10, 2015. The Spanish strategist earned £ 13.5 million ($ 17.6 million) in the first year, rising to £ 16.75 million in the following years. The unusual point is not in the salary, but at the time of signing. Meanwhile, Guardiola entered the new season for only two months, as Bayern Munich coach.

A few weeks later, a Sunday Mirror reporter wrote that City’s football director – Txiki Begiristain – met Guardiola in Barcelona. He released the news: “Begiristain and Guardiola are negotiating a contract”. This news is of course wrong. The contract has been signed.

Man City spokesman Simon Heggie immediately wrote to the leaders: “I have called and asked the reporter to remove the article.” A moment later, Heggie said the story had been removed. “I will correct it with other papers,” he added. This helps Man City control the time to announce the contract – February 2016.

Control is Man City’s motto. They control the pitch, and the media. The leaders understand that the team and the Abu Dhabi owners are always skeptical. With a professional PR team, Man City prevents a lot of unfavorable information targeting them. The British press – a country claiming to be the source of modern democracy and law – received a rave review of Abu Dhabi owners. But in the UAE, adulterers are executed and kissing in public will go to jail.


The way Man City rose to be the global football empire (Part 1)

In November 2019, the price of City Football Group – the global empire that owns Man City – was about $ 4.8 billion, higher than any other club.

Pep Guardiola, in the eyes of football fans, never seemed to stand still. He does not always control his actions. Outside the boundary line, he paced back and forth, shouting to direct the player, shouting at the referee with every adverse and exciting decision after each goal. But when he met Mansour Al Nahyan – UAE Prince and president of Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), Guardiola was like a different person.

“All or Nothing” is a documentary about Man City, which the crew has been with the team for a year. In the film, Guardiola is so polite that he is embarrassed whenever he has to talk to his boss. Viewers don’t even hear what they’re saying to each other. Just know they both still smile.

The film, produced by Amazon, features Man City’s trip to Abu Dhabi. This segment as to promote UAE tourism. There, the players were wearing uniforms, British actors worked in the laundry room, and President Khaldoon Al Mubarak always dressed like a gentleman. Khaldoon laughed spontaneously and stood pedestal next to Noel Gallagher – a crazy English artist Man City. Khaldoon is Mansour’s right-hand man, helping Abu Dhabi expand to Europe.

In August 2010, two years after acquiring Man City, Mansour first came to the Etihad Stadium. He laughed and waved to the crowd, while his subordinates were nervous. Even Khaldoon is the same. Tension disappeared when Man City defeated Liverpool 3-0. Mansour’s visit was considered successful. And that was the only time he attended the Man City match.

It is not uncommon for Mansour not to interfere in the management of Man City. Even Khaldoon doesn’t stick to financial details, or football tactics. In Abu Dhabi, Khaldoon manages Mubadala investment company and EAA executive consulting agency.

Mubadala is a UAE state-owned enterprise, specializing in investing abroad billions of dollars in oil. And EAA is the right hand of the UAE government, directing international relations strategy. The two companies explain why Mansour invests in Man City.


Man City drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace at Etihad

Sergio Aguero scored twice in 10 minutes but Man City only drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace in the 23rd Premier League on January 18.

Two goals in the 82nd and 87th minutes of Aguero seemed to bring a comeback to Man City – the team was led in more than 80 minutes. But the final table of the match belonged to Crystal Palace in an unexpected way.

Fernandinho smashed the ball home after a cross from Wilfried Zaha in the 90th minute. The goal lost the hopes of the Man City champions almost as soon as the gap with the top of the Liverpool table reached 13 points, and maybe 19 points if Jurgen Klopp‘s teachers won the last two matches.

The front goal on the home net is a specialty of Man City this season. Pep Guardiola’s teachers and students were conceded in six of the last nine home games, though always the dominant team. In the first half against Crystal Palace, Man City finished 11 times and created eight corner kicks.

Crystal Palace only finished once, from their only corner in the half, but was the only team to score in the first 45 minutes. Cenk Tosun – a new recruit from Everton – headed into a table from Gary Cahill’s overhead pass.

The match represents the entire domestic season of Man City. Everything against them, from luck, referee to VAR. In the first half, the ball almost rolled on the Crystal Palace yard, but refused to find Guaita net. After Kevin De Bruyne hit the bar and bounced off the bar, it was Sergio Aguero’s turn to miss the cross.

A total of 25 shots were launched by City during the match, 14 of which came in the second half. After a lot of misses, Sergio Aguero scored after Gabriel Jesus’s cross with a cross in the 82nd minute. When the excitement returned, the Argentine striker completed the brace in just five minutes. From Benjamin Mendy’s cross, Aguero headed the ball into the far corner to beat Guaita a second time.

Crystal Palace won at Etihad last season. As a result, they did not lose faith in getting points, even though they lost two goals in five minutes. From making a rare ball in the second half, Zaha dribbled and stretched horizontally.

None of the Crystal Palace players approached the penalty area fast enough to catch the ball, but the cross stretched with great force made Fernandinho frantically break the ball home. Draw 2-2, City for the eighth time lost points after 23 rounds this season.


Man Utd escaped the series of three matches without winning

Thanks to a double from Rashford, Man Utd beat Norwich 4-0 in round 22 and reclaimed the fifth place in the Premier League.

Man Utd exploded in the second half, with two goals scored within two minutes. Starting from the 50th minute, goalkeeper Tim Krul made a mistake with left-back Brandon Williams in the penalty area. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the 11m mark, when the score was 1-0 in favor of Man Utd.

In the first phase of the encounter, Tim Krul twice blocked the penalty successfully. One of the two men who broke it that day – Marcus Rashford – continued to claim responsibility on the evening of 11 January. The Dutchman still guessed in the right direction, but couldn’t touch the ball because Rashford placed his dangerous heart in the lower right corner, doubling the gap.

Man Utd’s victory was more complete when their remaining two strikers, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood fired together. Martial increased the lead to 3-0 with a header from the near post, after choosing the correct position to catch the cross from the right wing.

Greenwood came in for Andreas Pereira, and it took just five minutes to register on the electronic board. He received the second ball, dragged two more beats, before sinking into the far corner, setting the score to 4-0 for “Red Guards”.

Escaping from the end of the first half, Man Utd seemed to wake up in the second half, with the highlight of the arrival of Juan Mata. After a month and a half, the Spanish midfielder was named in the starting line-up in the Premier League. The former Chelsea player left a mark with two precise lines from the right wing, giving Rashford and Martial a goal.

The victory won more confidence for Man Utd, before replaying the third round of the FA Cup against Wolves on January 15, followed by the trip to Liverpool on January 19, and ended the month with a semi-final second leg of the Cup. Federation with Man City in Etihad.