Manchester City, Chelsea and Competing With Perfection

That is not the only conceptual shift he has inspired. When Manchester City went into this season without a recognized center forward, it was seen not as madness but a bold, if slightly risky, call; playing with a fluid front three is no longer anathema. The idea that fullbacks can switch places with midfielders and serve as playmakers has been internalized and imitated, too. He has ushered in an era of open-mindedness in which, yes, actually, maybe goalkeepers could take penalties.


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