Jurgen Klopp

Prior to Sunday’s trip to Anfield, pundits galore were lining up to praise Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s attractive style of play has earned his men plenty of plaudits and their unbeaten start to the Premier League and Champions League campaigns were being hailed. Before last weekend, discussions regarding the Blues’ spending were not on the table.

It is a commonly agreed fact that City did spend big in the summer transfer window. However, they are by no means alone in that. Take Liverpool for example, they spent £95.7m. The Blues would even go on to recoup a fair chunk of their outlay in sales.

Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko’s departures saw significant sums return to the Etihad Stadium. But Jurgen Klopp was happy not to mention that.

Let us be frank, it would be untrue to suggest that City could not have brought in Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez etc. if they had not have sold the aforementioned trio. But, this idea that the Blues are the only team who are benefitting from extortionate riches is bogus.

Teams that merely qualify for the group stages of the Champions League receive €15.64m. This is before they even win a match, at which point they will receive a further €2.8m per victory.

City have spent big in the last decade or so to bridge the gap between themselves and what was once known as the ‘Big Four’. This has now widened to the ‘Big Six’ thanks to Tottenham Hotspur’s rise in prominence.

However, to now suggest that the Blues’ success is merely down to having a lot of money is a lazy argument. Guardiola has not spent cash just for the sake of doing so.

Each addition to his squad has fitted with the overall vision which he has manifested. City were ridiculed for the figure they forked out for Jack Grealish but it is now becoming clear where he fits inside Guardiola’s masterplan.

Since the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, which could have easily ended as a draw had Phil Foden’s goal not have been ruled out, and Klopp’s subsequent post-match comments, the doors have been opened for critics to attack the Blues for their spending. Those same voices were silent though as Haaland racked up the goals and when Manchester United were dispatched with ease.

It would be more palatable to listen to these arguments if the Merseyside club were not languishing in eighth, still ten points behind City having played one game less. Guardiola will not be concerned by the outside noise which surrounds the club at present as he knows that the Blues are still well on track to reach their requirements this season.

A victory over Brighton followed by a crucial three points in Dortmund will banish the discontent around the club’s wealth for now. However, those critics will continue to lurk in the background ready to strike once again with their hypocritical views.

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