Club legends Shaun Goater and Richard Dunne recap a successful season for newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City…
As part of an exclusive series, Goal in collaboration with Manchester City and TECNO are in conversation with Man City legends Shaun Goater and Richard Dunne.
In the fourth episode of this series, the duo sat down with Chukwu Bethel Harmless, Goal Africa’s Trainee Manchester City correspondent.
The legends did a recap of a very successful 2020/21 season where Manchester City have been crowned champions for the third time in the last four years.
Both Dunne and Goater agreed that in what was a very difficult and compact season, Pep Guardiola’s side did an impeccable job.
“I think they have done well. They have had a slow start to the season based on the fact that the last season ended on August 15 so it was quite tough but when we look at the season, we can say that it has been a success,” opined Dunne.
City got off to a slow start at the beginning but found their wings and literally blew the competition away soon enough.
Goater stated, “It was a slow and tricky start just like it was for a lot of other clubs. Trying to adjust to the schedule considering the number of games. Playing every three or four days but then City found their form. Pep (Guardiola) figured out something and made the team more solid and I think we are just going from strength to strength. It was really pleasing to see.”
The former City duo praised the team’s defensive performance when asked about the area in which the Sky Blues have improved the most since their last campaign.
“As a team, we would look at City and say that they are the best attacking side in Europe but this season defensively they have been outstanding. They have sort of changed their mentality and became the best defensive side in Europe. The transition of full-back coming into the midfield and different things like that has made them more solid and less open to counter-attacks. Ruben Dias has been a real leader in the defence,” said Dunne.
Meanwhile, Goater praised Guardiola’s decision to deploy Joao Cancelo in a versatile role where he would often move to the centre of the park despite starting as a full-back.
“This is one thing Pep (Guardiola) has figured out with (Ruben) Dias coming in has been monumental. His presence as a leader has made the backline more solid. Joao Cancelo has added a whole new dimension. We have seen Pep using full-backs to go inside but Cancelo has gone a step forward. He steps inside and then drives forward. So he actually becomes a number 10,” opined Goater.
When asked which was the team’s most memorable match in the 2020/21 season, Dunne picked the 4-1 win at Anfield and Goater went with the 4-1 win over Wolves.
“The most memorable game was the 4-1 victory at Anfield. It was a long time since City had won there. The Liverpool game was a real test for them. They were clinical
going forward,” said Dunne.
“I will go for 4-1 win over Wolves. That was a brilliant game. Tactically it was brilliant because Wolves are a team known to beat us and Pep surely know that on their day Wolves can create trouble. City dominated the Wolves came back. It was a tense game but just how City kept going and, in the end, it was 4-1 they showed that they are a machine,” stated Goater.