Manchester City have won two Premier League titles in succession and Raheem Sterling says Pep Guardiola's sanctions have been vital.
Raheem Sterling believes Pep Guardiola's introduction of fines to punish indiscipline has proven crucial in turning Manchester City into the Premier League's gold standard. City's failure to win the title in successive seasons saw Guardiola hired in 2016, and although they finished third to Chelsea and Tottenham in his first campaign, the foundations for greatness were being laid.
City going from strength to strength
Records tumbled in 2017-18, as City blitzed all the competition in an historic season, before holding off Liverpool's challenge this season in another remarkable title charge to become the first team in 10 years to retain their crown. While Guardiola has been revered for his tactical approach and coaching throughout his managerial career, Sterling puts City's improvement down to something else entirely.
"It's got to be mentality," Sterling told The Daily Mirror. "He [Guardiola] tried to change that, change the mentality. He brought in fines and, I don't want to talk about it in too much detail, but fines to keep people in check to make sure we were serious and ready. They were just for things like being late, being late for a meeting, little things to make sure your mentality is right, you are not slipping away. Then we showed we were [ready], he took the fines out. But credit to him because the standard has actually been raised this season."
FA Cup final this weekend
City could yet complete an unprecedented domestic treble if they win the FA Cup on Saturday, with Watford all that stands it their way.