The season of Stones: how Barnsley Beckenbauer sparked City’s surge | Manchester City

“Talk about John Stones. Please, before Haaland.” And Pep Guardiola banged his head on the press conference dais in mock exasperation. It was September last year, at the height of Erling-mania, and Manchester City had just beaten Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League with a goal from their big new striker. But Guardiola was keen to shift the conversation elsewhere.

And in hindsight, Guardiola was not really joking. Instead, he was trying to give us a clue. He was, as ever, urging us to look beyond the superficial and see what was happening under the bonnet. The season that may well…


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