The modern game of football has changed considerably over the last twenty years. The money involved and the science behind it is just mind-blowing. As a fan of football, I have seen teams go from the lower divisions and rise incredibly quickly once the ownership has changed. The injection of cash allows them to bring in great players. But it is clear that just money and great players are not the only solution.
A new group of supermanagers has come on the scene too in recent years and fans expectations are high. All or Nothing seems to be a fitting name when we are talking about Manchester City. Their owner Sheikh Mansour took ownership of the club ten years ago with what seems to be limitless cash at his disposal. And he will settle for nothing less than the absolute best. City has had Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini as managers, both of who, won titles and cups but were still shown the door when there was a better option available.
In 2016 Manchester City in their pursuit of excellence suddenly had the opportunity to get what many would perceive as the best manager in the world. Enter Pep Guardiola who had experienced the highest levels as a player, but more importantly had an amazing record as a manager. It has to be said that expectations of the owners and the fans were incredibly high and the first season in charge piled a huge amount of pressure on Pep. It was visible in post-match interviews that he was not happy.
Both the media and fans started to question his credentials. Was this super manager really so super after all? I have to say at this point, I am not a Manchester City fan myself but what happened in the following season was nothing short of amazing to see. Pep was backed by the club, they spent big on key players in midseason and went onto have a record-breaking season. They played incredibly entertaining football and tore other clubs apart along the way to win the English Premier League title.
Personally, it was overwhelming to watch what seemed to be total perfection on the pitch. Just how did things turn around so much at the club? Was this superstar manager really that amazing? This is where the series, All or Nothing: Manchester City is so special. Yes there have been fly on the wall documentaries before but the timing of this documentary is impeccable. We get to see everything at the club right from the very start of the season to the spectacular end of the season, up close and personal with everyone involved from the staff cleaning the kits all the way to the boardroom.
The viewer almost feels like they have taken a seat in the boardroom as they make key decisions on player replacements through the season. It is incredibly fascinating especially when you hear the sums of money that they are talking about as they bid to keep their pursuit of excellence on the right track. For me, the most amazing thing to see was how Pep Guardiola works. Prior to watching the series he seemed quite an elusive character. But he was simply amazing to watch. This guy is possibly the most driven individual you will ever see. It becomes obvious why he is held in such regard. The detail and focus provided by him in the build-up to each game answered all the questions I had about him. It is inspiring to observe such passion and observe a real footballing genius at work.
Amazon has done a tremendous job with this series. I found myself skipping from episode to episode, totally sucked in with each interview. It goes along at a blistering pace in a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. I would strongly recommend this series, even if you are not a Manchester City fan. It is incredibly insightful into the workings of a super modern football club and how perfection can be achieved.