Pep Guardiola needs to understand City fans’ Champions League frustrations

Following Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Champions League Matchday 1, Pep Guardiola expressed his desire for City fans to show their support on European nights by filling the Etihad Stadium and generating a vibrant atmosphere.

Now, City’s attendance that night was 30,217 and before all the “Emptihad” jokes begin, bear in mind that the match was being played a day later than originally planned. Following the torrential rain the night before, UEFA officials felt it was unsafe for a football match to take place and postponed the clash for 24 hours. With City fans who may not have been able to attend on the Wednesday along with the majority of Mönchengladbach fans who had to make the trip home back to Germany, there was no surprise the attendance was just over half of the stadium’s capacity.

With Guardiola at the helm, City fans should be more excited than ever for what this season may hold for the club’s Champions League dreams. However, Guardiola may need a quick lesson in Manchester City and what the club has been through during their time in Europe’s premier competition.

City have been punished financially by UEFA and fans have been punished for actions that they have not been involved in (most notably, being shut-out of a fixture away at CSKA Moscow in October 2014 after the home supporters had racially abused Yaya Touré the previous season).

PFC CSKA Moskva v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League

The Blues’ time in the Champions League is set to be tougher due to a new positioning system set to be introduced by the executives from the major European clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, often seen as the old guard of European football. This will in turn stop new clubs like City and Leicester from seeded in the top pots when it comes to the group stage draw.

In Guardiola’s defence however, this a competition where his philosophy has been very effective during his short managerial career, leading to possession based football becoming de rigueur at many top European clubs.

Barcelona's Spanish coach Josep Guardiol

After not winning the European title with Bayern Munich during his three-year spell in Germany, Guardiola may be left with annoying feeling that he has not yet added a third Champions League medal to his collection. Along with the stress he puts himself through before and during a match, it’s no surprise that he’s brought up the lack of fans in the stadium.

Do not expect the booing of the Champions League anthem to come to a halt anytime soon as City fans will still, rightly, feel embittered about the past few seasons in UEFA’s top competition. However, with Guardiola making a rallying cry for fans to turn up on European nights, it is clear that the Catalan is passionate about City’s European exploits and believes the fans are a crucial part of this season’s European adventure.

Written by Matt Astbury

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7 comments on “Pep Guardiola needs to understand City fans’ Champions League frustrations
  1. carry on booing lads,the corruption of eufa has not stopped,nor should the booing. those that dont like it.tough. real city fans know why.

    • Dear ‘Real fan’
      Morning…I’m the one you called Clueless below…just because my opinion differs from yours. Nice eh?
      If that’s the case then the club must be clueless too or they wouldn’t have got the message out loud and clear via Pep.
      Can’t you see see how the club feels over this?
      Real fans appreciate what Sheikh Mansour has done for our club and our city. He has taken us to the top table and instead of embracing his desire to win the ultimate prize, a few fans decide to publicly embarrass him.
      Real fans embrace the CL because if WE don’t, that apathy transmits to the players.
      It also gives other fans the chance to say we’re a,small club…and there’s no doubt there are plenty of small minds around like yours.
      Yours sincerely, Clueless.

  2. Ive thought about this a bit – and although it has generally amused me when I’m at the stadium, on balance I do think its time to move on and leave the booing behind us. I don’t think its embarrassing, and I don’t particularity care what others think abut City fans, it just feels to me like its had its day really

  3. A big part of the City fan’s boredom has been the Groundhog Day effect. Every year we seemed to draw the same teams. We didn’t play too well. Generally failed at some point. The refereeing in the CL is a joke where you can give away a foul & yellow card just by looking at the opposing player (who will probably fall over clutching his face). CL football for City fans has been enormously tediously and ultimately disappointing.

    Add to that the constant changing of the rules to weigh against City, PSG and Chelsea, FFP, “management” of seeding, UEFA’s treatment of City fans in Moscow and there is definitely no love lost amongst City fans for that competition.

    However, the CL is definitely on the agenda for the City owners. It is what they most desire. Pep has given us a style of football suited to the competition and the City fans owe it to The Sheik, Pep and the team to give it a go.

    It is correct to say that it is time to give up the booing, get behind the team and try and win the damned thing. After all, that is what would really p1ss UEFA off most of all, and it is all the more desirable for that reason.

  4. Can we get over this now? Sick to death of the booing…it’s an embarrassment to the club, the manager and the players! Childish nonsense. That’s obviously why Pep has said what he has,
    Carrying on with this charade will get us nowhere. UEFA don’t care! Think of the effect it will have on the team and GROW UP!

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