Guardiola’s legacy is built on trophies. His first season at City did not bring that kind of success but they have a very solid base to work from and a big war chest behind them. Automatic Champions League qualification, getting out of their group and a trip to Wembley would have been the minimum expectation, so in a sense their season was a success. They will however want to improve upon all four competitions next time around.
60.53% – Guardiola’s lowest ever league win percentage. He’s won silverware every year of his career, except this one. Nearly all their rankings put them in the top four, with the exception of clean sheets, an area that needs addressing.
15 points adrift is the same as last year and they’ve only actually won six trophies in seven seasons (two in 2013-14). Chelsea won nine in the same amount of time after the Abramovic takeover.
Pep has to win a trophy next season; that’s what he was brought in to do. City hired a serial winner and did not win anything. Next season it will be his team and they’ve already flexed their financial muscle. These players must however be dedicated to a philosophy, one with which many seemed uncomfortable in 2016-17.
The emphasis will be on how to keep so many attacking players happy. The defence will stay mainly the same but further forwards they now have: Aguero, Jesus, Silva, Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Gundogan, Toure, Sane and Fernandinho vying for six places.
Walker and Ederson will be a boost in defence but they still need numbers after the departures of Zabaleta, Clichy and Sagna. A left back is the new priority and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hijacked Chelsea’s move for Alex Sandro as there aren’t many good ones available. Benjamin Mendy does however remain the number one target. One more cebtre back would be ideal in case Kompany gets injured again, with Inigo Martinez highly likely.
Also expect an exodus, with Nolito, Delph, Denayer, Nasri, Iheanacho, Bony, Zinchenko, Roberts, Mangala all likely to be told they can find new clubs.