With fans back at the Emirates, Sunday’s derby with Chelsea will show how much goodwill the manager has in reserve

Everybody wants their own Pep Guardiola. Everybody wants to find a former player, steeped in the traditions of the club, who can bring great success, preferably by using products of the academy. But the problem with geniuses is that there aren’t many of them about.

It’s also the problem of clubs: for all the talk of identities and DNA, very few of them actually have a cogent philosophy that binds first team to youth sides, or at least not one that has been in place for long enough to turn out a player who can return almost two decades after their debut to find an academy still turning out players shaped by the same prevailing idea.

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