Man City Club Focus – Artisan qualities define victory over Wigan

A team’s style, its philosophy, its commitment to attacking football, may separate it from the rest of the competition. Indeed, for much of the first half of the Premier League season it seemed that Manchester City’s swashbuckling brand of ruthless attacking football – the quality of which unparalleled since Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ vintage of 2003-04 – would sweep them to success.

Other times call for artisan qualities. Their league cup hopes hanging by a thread following a desultory 1-0 semi-final first-leg defeat to Liverpool and out of the FA Cup, the Citizens’ struggles in cup competition have began to be reflected in their league form. Recently the goals have dried up and purists have stopped salivating. Most importantly, victories are not as forthcoming. As such, a new test was borne; as much a test of mental strength, belief and endurance as talent.

‘A wet Wednesday night in Stoke’ – the perception the acid test of a team’s credentials, its mental and technical capacity to win titles, is inferred to be its ability to defeat battle-hardened, provincial opposition in the face of adverse conditions – has become the comic byword for hackneyed clich

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