Man City players are rattling through Pep Guardiola bingo at Euro 2024

We are only two rounds of group games in at the European Championship but the narratives have quickly sprung up.

Club football has bled into the space for international football in the calendar and even in the flagship tournaments it has been impossible to stop the parallels. When Wayne Rooney was looking for a comparison point for England, for instance, he found Manchester City - just not any of the bits that have made Pep Guardiola's side serial winners of the Premier League.

It didn't take much football in Germany for conclusions to be made about City's players: they just aren't the same without Guardiola. Phil Foden drew criticism in England's first game, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku couldn't stop Belgium losing to Slovakia and Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias were part of a lethargic Portugal side who had to come from behind to beat Ccezhia, meaning of course that City's players can't perform without the best manager in the world.

ALSO READ: 'End of road' - Man City star Kevin De Bruyne opens up about his future

ALSO READ: Wayne Rooney savages England with damning Man City comparison

There's certainly something to be said for City being the perfect place for the specific players that they buy to thrive. It is hard to think of a player who left the first-team in the Guardiola era and has gone on to better things, and it would make sense that it is harder to have success when not on the same pitch as similar talents.

But that cannot be used as an excuse and, given another 90 minutes, City players have not tried to use it as one. De Bruyne and Silva picked up man-of-the-match awards after goals against Romania and Turkey respectively while Manu Akanji also received it for his performance in Switzerland's draw with Scotland.

City fans are of course used to the conversation that tends to be had around their season. It begins when the Blues do not get off to the best of starts or have a wobble, and supporters from rival clubs sense an opportunity; assessments are made that City do not in fact have better players position by position and everything is held together by Guardiola.

Then, when the champions do what they so often do and put together an unstoppable run City's manager is back to being a fraud who just happens to have the best players at his disposal as a result of 'unrivalled' spending that happens to be very much rivalled. How can anyone compete, and all that.

Of course, Guardiola and his team are not in this tournament so that cannot be the ending but there are still many aspects of City bingo to be ticked off. The presence of big No.9s has already been celebrated as if Erling Haaland does not exist, while City's social media team produced a video of all of their goals from outside the box last season - "a Premier League best" - in reference to the idea that Guardiola's influence has killed off the long-range screamer.

Nobody cares about City, famously, but the influence of their players and Guardiola on Euro 2024 looks set to be a recurring theme of the tournament.