Newcastle United and Manchester City – An Unusual Parallel

Here is a sentence that almost nobody would have thought would be said this season.

Newcastle United are drawing parallels with Premier League giants Manchester City.

Newcastle may lack the quality, the resources and the impressive stature in the current football world, that Manchester City have. However, on the pitch, it may be possible to draw comparisons.

Both clubs started the season with superstar managers and the backing of many to go on and win their respective leagues.

However, Manchester City currently trail the Premier League leaders, while Newcastle could slip to second in the Championship if Brighton win their game in hand.

It could also be argued that with the number of household names in their squads, anyone would have been forgiven for thinking the two teams would have swept all of those who opposed them, aside this season.

Manchester City have the likes of Aguero, Toure, Kompany and David Silva at their disposal, and it is true that this is something that Newcastle fans will only be able to dream of for the foreseeable future.

Despite this, many would have felt that Dwight Gayle, Mo Diame, Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey could be equally as effective in a lesser division, as their more talented counterparts at Manchester City.

Both managers spent money in the summer and attempted to reshape their squads and both have the pedigree to suggest that they could be doing better.

This however, is not a criticism. It is simply due to the reputations of both Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benitez that people feel that they could be doing better.

If the truth is told, both are trying to completely reshape their teams style of play. Guardiola is attempting to encourage his players to play out from the back, while Benitez is trying to add some much-needed structure to a Newcastle team that has been disorganised at the best of times, in recent years.

 The comparison doesn’t stop there. Both managers also bought new Goalkeepers for their sides in the summer.

Guardiola purchased Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, after the well documented departure of Joe Hart.

Similarly, Benitez also replaced Newcastle’s long-term first choice. Loaning Dutch international Tim Krul to Ajax and bringing in a relative unknown in Matz Sels.

Sels, like Bravo, had excelled in foreign football. It was reported that his game was based on his reflexes and distribution, again, like Bravo.

However, neither have made the start to their careers at their new clubs that their managers would have liked.

Sels has already been displaced as Newcastle number one Karl Darlow, while Bravo has faced heavy criticism from much of the English media.

This is not to say that the media is right. Sels and Bravo have arrived at new clubs, in a new country and will take time to settle in and perhaps after this season, we will see the best of them.

This may also be the case for Guardiola and Benitez.

Both have taken on new challenges, with Guardiola coming to a new country, while Benitez is managing a struggling club for the first time in years.

One thing that is worth noting here, is that while neither Man City or Newcastle have reached their best yet, the teams around them should be worried for when they do.

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