The Star Late Edition

Pep one of the greats


LOVE ’em, or hate ’em, but there can be no denying the achievemen­t of Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side.

For the fifth time in 10 years – the third in four years – the blue half of the city have been crowned champions of England. Of those handful of championsh­ips, this season's triumph might be the most impressive. It is easy to forget that on December 21 last year the Sky Blues were sitting seventh on the English Premier League standings, and had won only six of their 13 matches to rack up 23 points.

All of Southampto­n, Tottenham, Everton, Manchester U, Leicester and Liverpool were above them, while the rest of the top 11, which included Chelsea, Aston Villa, West Ham and Wolves, were within three points of the newly crowned champions. Since then, City went on to win 19 games in the league, losing only three more, winning the title with three matches remaining.

“We started to rebuild and reconstruc­t the team from that point (in December),” Guardiola said, as reported by “We had success in the past and (we had to) come back on our positional play, move the ball quicker, do more passes, stay more in position and run less with the ball.”

It is a remarkable achievemen­t, one that surely ranks among the great championsh­ip victories of the premiershi­p era. Sure, Guardiola has only coached at big clubs, but at each he has shown his quality and won.

He must be considered one of the great managers of our time.

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