In the space of a few short years, Manchester City have become one of the world’s true footballing titans. Led by the mercurial Pep Guardiola, the Sky Blues have swept all domestic opposition and collected a slew of honours, with fans buying Man City tickets in droves to watch this free-flowing side strut their stuff – click here for more.
Success in modern football isn’t all about the manager and the players on the pitch. Football teams today are huge organisations, made up of highly experienced teams of specialists whose knowledge contributes towards on-field success. This week, the news broke that Manchester City had added a new analyst to the backroom team. Who is he? Can he help them as they seek a second successive Premier League title?
Who is the New Analyst?
This week, reports broke that Manchester City had poached analyst Mark Leyland from Newcastle United. Leyland had joined Newcastle just 14 months previously, after being headhunted by Eddie Howe to help support the newly cash-rich club as they sought to establish themselves among the Premier League’s heavy hitters.
Leyland started his career at Everton, where he worked as a Performance Analyst from 2008 – 2012. He then moved on to Burnley, serving in a similar role for a year. In 2013, Leyland was hired by Liverpool, where he worked as a First Team Post Match Analyst from 2013 – 2021.
After eight years with the Merseyside giants, Leyland made a surprise move to Newcastle, where he was appointed as First Team Coach Analyst in 2021. Newcastle, with their new owners, have taken the Premier League by storm, and Leyland has likely been instrumental in helping them secure the top-five position they currently hold.
Manchester City Swoop In
However, after just 14 months with Newcastle, it would appear the magnetic pull of Guardiola proved too much, and it looks like Leyland is all but set to join Manchester City. This will no doubt be a blow to Newcastle and Eddie Howe, Leyland is highly experienced and held in high regard. On the other hand, Manchester City fans will be thrilled and will be hopeful that Leyland can help turn around a season that seems to be slipping through their fingers.
City’s Season So Far
Manchester City currently sit second in the league with 52 points, just two points behind leaders Arsenal. Of 24 games played, City have won 16, drawn four, and lost four. This is certainly a solid record, but margins in the Premier League are razor thin, City will need to improve if they want to go on and win the title. Their victory over Liverpool has consolidated their presence in the title race, but Arsenal still look to be keeping them at an arm’s length.
Can Leyland Help?
City’s first setback came on gameday three of the season, where they played out a thrilling 3 – 3 draw with an increasingly powerful Newcastle. Perhaps this game was where City took notice of Leyland before taking steps to convince him to join the team.
Will Leyland be able to help City best Arsenal and lift another Premier League title? We’re going to have to wait and see, but it will be exciting either way.