Supplement: Manchester City now entertaining on the pitch rather than off it

Last Updated: 19/12/13 2:51pm

Manchester City are entertaining on the pitch rather than off it, that's the verdict of the Sunday Supplement panel.

City knocked six past table toppers Arsenal on Saturday to make it 35 goals scored at the Etihad in the league this season and the gathered journalists on this weekend's Supplement have been impressed with the change in atmosphere and attitude off the pitch since Manuel Pellegrini took over the reins this summer.

Shaun Custis of The Sun said: "It's interesting that we're talking about City and it's just about football now; previously we were concentrating on other things first and then the football.

"Even when they won the league it was: 'Balotelli this, Balotelli that, Tevez as well' - lots of distractions.

"We go to City now and say: 'I wonder how many they're going to get today'.

"It's entertaining, it's a joy to watch and when a manager splashes all this money, you do expect entertaining football, that's what you want.

"We were getting a lot of entertainment off the field but not always on the field. When they won the league it was a brilliant end to the season but they weren't playing the stylish football they're playing now."

No more dramas

Under former boss Roberto Mancini the club often made the back pages for the wrong reasons, with spats between players, contractual dilemmas and bizarre player antics - generally involving Mario Balotelli - often overshadowing their performances on the pitch and Matt Dickinson of The Times believes the appointment of former Barcelona technical director Txiki Begiristain as their director of football and Manuel Pellegrini as manager has made the difference.

He said: "Mancini seemed to thrive on confrontation. Inside it wasn't just the players, it was the masseurs, it was the physios; it was daily you'd hear a story about a bust-up with someone.

"Fans wondered if we were over-egging it but half the stuff didn't even reach the papers. You heard rumours and subsequently many of them turned out to be true.

"The new Spanish hierarchy came in and wanted their own man and Pellegrini had a pretty solid pedigree but hadn't won a lot of trophies but I think he's going to win a few at City."