Manchester City, Chelsea and Competing With Perfection

Pep Guardiola’s ideas and his teams have changed the way England views the game. The danger is that those changes affect perceptions of what qualifies as success.

For a few weeks, around this time last year, English soccer found itself in a heartfelt, sincere discussion over whether the time had come for Éderson, Manchester City’s goalkeeper, to start taking penalties. Questions were asked on television. The subject was weighed in newspapers. Soccer’s commentariat chewed over the idea’s merits.

It had all started with a joke. Some time in 2019, the otherwise all-conquering Manchester City had developed a curious tick. Suddenly, Pep Guardiola’s team just could not score penalties. No matter who

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