Ken Early: Man City fans need to embrace Champions League

Empty seats at the Etihad could have contributed to opening 2-1 defeat to Lyon

 City manager Pep Guardiola during the Premier League  match against Cardiff.  He has insisted many times that the Champions League is  a completely different competition to the Premier League. Photograph:  Reuters/Andrew Boyers

City manager Pep Guardiola during the Premier League match against Cardiff. He has insisted many times that the Champions League is a completely different competition to the Premier League. Photograph: Reuters/Andrew Boyers

When Pep Guardiola agreed to take over at Manchester City, one of the things that attracted him was the idea that his arrival at the Etihad Stadium would constitute Year Zero in the life of his new club.

At Bayern his methods were “counter-cultural” and met with resistance everywhere. The former Bayern players on TV complained that his team passed the ball too much, or the club doctor who had been there since the 1970s would tell him “this isn’t how we do things around here”. At City there would be no pre-existing culture to counter. He could build his ideal team and club effectively from scratch.

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