IT doesn’t take much for people to start putting the boot in — even when there’s nothing to actually moan about.
Pep Guardiola was probably still teeing off at Sandiway on Sunday when the snipes started about his champions.
Forums were flooded and phone-ins went into overdrive almost the second Manchester City were crowned Premier League kings.
Of course, there were plenty of punters keen to pay tribute to as exciting and entertaining a side as we’ve seen in many, many years.
But what amazed me was the number trying to claim it was nothing special because, with all that money, City had just bought the title.
I have to say that is absolute RUBBISH and always guaranteed to get my blood boiling.
Yes, City HAVE spent cash — but so have pretty much everyone else.
And if it was that easy, how come those sides haven’t had crowds on the edge of their seats and — if not taking City to the wire — at least run them closer?
Last summer, Chelsea paid £197.2million for Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger, Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater.
When that wasn’t working, they splashed out another £53m in January on Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri.
Everton paid a record £150m to sign, among others, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen in the close season.
Next thing, they’re sacking manager Ronald Koeman, bringing in Sam Allardyce to try and keep them up and paying another £47m for Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott.
Even Crystal Palace followed a club-record £27m for Christian Benteke in 2016 with another £26m to Liverpool for Mamadou Sakho last year.
So don’t try to tell me putting your hand in your pocket is the way to guarantee success.
It simply doesn’t work like that.
The real art is not simply paying big fees, it’s getting those players who suit your structure and system.
Those players who will improve what you already have and take it forward.
Pep hasn’t always got it right in the market but this year he most definitely has.
It’s hard to find fault with any of his buys.
There just seems to be an innate jealousy among other fans and an insistence on picking holes in anything and everything.
We should be saluting Pep for the football he’s played, his determination to do it the right way, even when everyone said he’d find the Prem too tough after La Liga and the Bundesliga.
Well, he hasn’t just disproved that, he’s made it look even easier — City really have been that impressive.
And while we’re at it, I don’t think it’s fair to draw comparisons with Arsenal’s Invincibles, United’s Treble winners or any other champions from the past.
We KNOW you have to do it for years to be considered true greats, so let’s just hold fire on that score, because City aren’t about to fall off the mountain here.
Just be thankful to Pep’s team for entertaining us so much, just like we should be grateful to Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino for how Liverpool and Tottenham play. Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson always produced sides that were great to watch back in the day, too.
But let’s be honest, this season — beyond City, Liverpool and Spurs — there haven’t been too many others who have played football the way we love to see it.
For too many it has been a case of avoiding defeat, rather than trying to win . . . it’s why certain managers continue to survive.
So fair play to Klopp, fair play to Poch and, most of all, to Pep.
That trio are responsible for most of the thrilling moments and most of what we’ll look back on with a smile.
We want the Premier League to be packed with excitement and entertainment — if it hadn’t been for them, we’d have been very short of both over the last eight months.