Manchester City Back on Track

What Guardiola Must Do to Get Manchester City Back on Track

Prior to his arrival at Manchester City, Guardiola carried an aura. The mere mention of his name emitted vibes of certainty; the world was sure he’d take City to unprecedented heights – after all, he’s in a realm of genius only a few managers have ever reached.

Man City fans set themselves up for disappointment when they bought into the idea that Guardiola would arrive at the Etihad with a wind of change and get the team competing for the Premier League title.

To an extent, the team’s style of play is more attractive, but its productivity is what has left a host of City fans disgruntled. Hart, Mangala and Nasri were all sent out on loan, but it was Hart’s departure that really highlighted Guardiola’s audacity.

Taking Hart out of the occasion at the start of the season currently seems like a bad decision from Pep, but the real bad decision lies in the Spanish tactician’s choice of replacement – Claudio Bravo, a goalkeeper who can apparently do everything but keep goals from going in.

Apart from Bravo’s appalling displays in goal, Manchester City’s defence has also been in disarray with the back-four failing to act as one single defensive unit on a number of occasions this term.

Having spent £50m on John Stones in the summer, Pep will be disappointed with the defender’s performances which have prompted City fans to question Stones’ importance to the side. It won’t be long before the 22-year-old is branded a big-money flop.

A lot of things have gone wrong for Manchester City this season, Guardiola’s reputation is evidently on the line, so what does the ex-Barca boss need to do in a bid to get the Citizens out of this quandary?

Well, first and foremost, Guardiola needs to address the problems at the back, and that begins with the gaffer introducing Caballero into the fray.

Bravo’s lack of shot-stopping abilities has hurt Manchester City’s resolve this term, and it might be time for him to sit out a few games which would, in turn, help him discover his form as he fights to get back in the team.

City’s defensive conundrum is somewhat amusing. Having spent in excess of £180m in the summer on John Stones, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, Guardiola failed to revamp his back four adequately. Defensive problems make up a majority of the reason the team finds itself out of the title race.

The defenders need to place more emphasis on actually defending rather than looking for a way to start an attack from the back. The issue with the back-four is not expected to be fully resolved until next summer, but in the meantime, Pep needs to make his team’s defending more resolute.

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Alongside defensive problems on the list of challenges Manchester City currently face sits their ageing squad.

David Silva, Yaya Toure, Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Aleksandar Kolarov are all in the twilight of their careers, yet most of them are still mainstays in City’s lineup.

It’s fair to say that David Silva along with Toure and Kolarov have not waned dramatically, but as a collective unit in the team there’s an apparent lack of ambition due to the lack of fresh legs, something Pep needs to address during the summer transfer window vehemently.

There isn’t much that can be done at the moment as Manchester City aren’t expected to make any last-gasp January transfers; thus, Pep needs to change his approach going into the next few months.

The 4-0 defeat to Everton two weeks ago left Pep with a lot to think about in a similar vein as the subsequent 2-2 draw against Tottenham.

The defeat to Everton was shocking, and therefore it’ll have undoubtedly made the manager revisit his tactics, but after the stalemate with Spurs, a game City should’ve won relatively easily, Guardiola’s focus should be on how he can get the best out of his attack whilst keeping his team sturdy in defence.

Manchester City are on a slippery slope due to Pep Guardiola’s poor decision-making in his early days at the helm. He now needs to embrace those mistakes and turn them around. They’re like cracks in a masterplan poised to be executed; the fact that the foibles are evident means there’s a chance to fix them in the long-run.

About the Author Phillip Ekuwem

Phillip is a football writer with an immense love and passion for the beautiful game. He's well versed in European football as he enjoys watching the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and the Serie A.

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