What do Manchester City have that Manchester United don’t?

Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

After a few poor results, Manchester United have fallen from the top of the table and Manchester City have capitalised on the Red Devils’ mistakes. This has led to comparisons between the two sides, with City holding the majority of two club’s recent accolades.

The rivalry has become more bitter as City have risen to success within the last ten years. Former Manchester United manager David Moyes made the mistake of saying United ‘aspire’ to be like City.

That being said, Manchester City seem to have some things that United don’t, which is why they don’t crack under pressure.

Long-term stability

Manchester City have had Pep Guardiola as their manager since 2016, a sustained period in which they have known nothing but success.

Guardiola bought an identity to their club, possession-based football, playing out from the back, and he was not afraid to implement it. He has known success before managing City, with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich. This brought a level of stability to them that Manchester United have not had since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Stability is one of the most important factors in running a successful football club and whilst United are in the best state they have been in, since Sir Alex left, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they still have a while to go until they can reach the stability that their cross town rivals have.

A solid defensive partnership

Defensive struggles have been a thorn in Manchester United’s side, struggling to find a partnership that can be sustained and trusted in every match. Whilst City have also experienced these struggles in the past, they currently have a solid partnership in John Stones and Ruben Dias.

United have leaked goals this season and having a defensive partnership that could be trusted would plug that problem. City’s defence play as a whole, they have a shape and a style which is religiously stuck to. Solskjaer’s side don’t have that. Yet.

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Never relying on one player

While City have a plethora of quality players, there is not a single one they have relied on for a long period of time. On the contrary, since his arrival a year ago, Manchester United have heavily relied on Bruno Fernandes and have been accused of looking lost when he isn’t playing well.

Arguably, United are one injury away from their form slipping drastically. City have some of the highest quality players in the league because they smartly invested their money, they brought Kevin de Bruyne in 2015 for £54 million and haven’t had to buy a replacement since.

Their best striker is Aguero and even though he is reliable, he is injured a lot, but they do not struggle for goals in his absence. To rectify this problem, United rely solely on their board to make smarter decisions in the transfer market and listen to the manager and his backroom staff when they identify targets.

If United were able to rectify these problems, it stands to reason that they would be much more competitive and wouldn’t buckle under pressure, as they have in the past few games.

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