Monday, January 16, 2017

Guardiola's Lost His Pep

Today’s post is going to be about the greatest manager in the history of football...who only has 1 tactic which only works when he has eleven of the best players in the world and the gulf in class between his team and every other team in the league is so great he might as well be playing against Sunday League football teams.

Yes of course I’m talking about Pep Guardiola, the “genius” who has been stealing credit for Barcelona’s passing style of play ever since he started his managerial career back in 2007. In his 9 years of being a manager he’s won 6 league titles, 4 domestic titles and 2 Champions League titles...and last night got his arse handed to him after a 4-0 defeat by Everton.
The greatest manager ever? Yeah right...
My biggest question regarding Pep is who’s he won all these titles with? Now I actually called it before he joined City that he would struggle in the Premier League as no club really dominates the league year on year like in Germany (for proof of this please see ‘Managerial Merry-Go-Round’ post). Admittedly Spain has Real Madrid and Atletico as well as Barcelona but you have to say that anyone could’ve won La Liga with that Barcelona team.
~ Seriously anyone! Stuart Pearce, Steve Keane, Alan Irvine...anyone! ~

When you look at the teams he’s inherited you have to wonder how he was ever considered the best. At Barcelona he started life with a top class goalie in Victor Valdes, an experienced Carles Puyol, a creative master Andres Iniesta alongside arguably Spain’s best ever player Xavi, all of which ,barring Valdes had just come back from winning Euro 2008. Add to this two experienced goalscorers in Eto’o and Henry and throw in a 21 year old who would go on to become, in some eyes the best player in world football, Lionel Messi.
~ Side note: give Pep credit though he did bring Busquets up to the full Barcelona team. I’m not a big fan of the holding midfielder but you can’t argue he’s been a mainstay in the heart of the Catalan’s midfield. ~

He then goes onto German powerhouses Bayern Munich in 2013. A side that had been in the Champions League final 3 out of their last 4 years previous to Pep, actually winning it just the season before. Inheriting players such as Robben, Ribery, Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Muller, Mandzukic and Nueur. A great side, especially when you have to play against ‘Das Dog und Duck F.C’ most weeks…
Pep Guardiola's win rate with City is currently 59.38%..
Not bad unless compared to his Barcelona (72.47%) or Munich (75.16%) days.
Now he’s finally come crashing down to Earth have to deal with the likes of Otamendi who can’t defend and is just their to kick folk, Fernandinho who is just a worse version of Lucas Leiva, Fernando who is just a worse Fernandinho, Jesus Navas who thinks that having pace is enough to make you world class and Fabian Delph who is only there simply because he’s English…

Not to mention Raheem Sterling who was labelled as Man City’s version of Lionel Messi at the beginning of the season...yeah if Messi had no touch, no strength, couldn’t cross nor shoot then yeah he’s Messi. You’d think if City were trying to reach their English quota they’d at least sign some better English players like Jonjo Shelvey or Wes Brown. At least given a contract extension to Richard Wright.

Now last night must have been a bitter pill to swallow for the Spaniard, losing 4-0 to a seemingly inconsistent Everton side. I have to give credit to Everton as they were phenomenal, the young lads Davies and Holgate need mentions as they dominated players who are considered some of the best in the division. But still when you’re team aren’t performing well you don’t just sit back and accept it as fate…

You don’t just sit there sulking as if there’s nothing more you can do. The players look to you to make a decision, to manage the team. Once that second went in the City manager seemingly lost his pep (see what I did there) and let the game take it’s course…
Is he sulking or thinking hard how to turn the game around?
I personally would have brought on Iheanacho for Sterling instead of Zabaleta, changing the system from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 with Iheanacho, Aguero and De Bruyne as the attacking 3. Dropping Silva deeper would let him pull the strings in a less crowded environment, possibly pulling either Davies or Barry out of their midfield line. I’d have made this change cause the Argentine wasn’t going to grab any goals but for me Sterling was very poor on the day only playing 1 key pass in 90 minutes according to

If the game still wasn’t going my way I’d have most likely took off De Bruyne. The Belgian made 2 key passes for the Citizens but was almost completely ineffective, especially in the second half. Looking at the subs I’d have probably brought on maybe Kolarov? Good for a set piece and can whip in a half decent cross I suppose. I know my suggestion for De Bruyne for Kolarov isn’t an ideal substitution but frankly Willy Caballero is probably a better winger than Jesus Navas…

Now I understand that City brought Pep in to take them to that next level in the Champions League but frankly at this rate he may need to win it if he wants to even be in tournament next season. The Sky Blues are currently 5th, outside the Champions League spots, 2 points behind Arsenal in 4th.

Now we all know how difficult it is knocking Arsenal out of the top four so City have a mountain to climb just to reach their bare minimum requirement. Not only that but they also have their noisy neighbours, Manchester United fast approaching from the rear, only 2 points off them in 6th. A defeat in City’s next game against high flyers Tottenham could see the Premier Leagues richest club in a mid table scrap for the Europa League.

They’ve got a big round of 16 tie against the current Ligue 1 leaders Monaco and I hope for the City fans’ sake that they improve before this tie. Guardiola needs to make some big signings before then though and I mean big. The likes of Modric or Kroos or Vidal are needed to shore up some sloppy passing from midfield as well as providing workrate that lacking from the likes of Yaya Toure.

Anyways that’s it from me today, you can guarantee that City go on a none stop winning streak from now until the end of the season, winning the League, FA Cup and Champions League in the process. Won’t I look a right twat then.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

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