Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Manchester City: Spend Well, Defend Well

I made a claim in my End of Season Ramble that Pep Guardiola had a piss poor season last year for Manchester City and that he would most likely go out and spend £200 million and be hailed as a managerial genius when he wins the league. With less than 3 weeks til the start of the season it would seem my prediction is already coming true…

So far Pep has brought in Bernardo Silva for £42.5 million, Ederson for £34 million (a world record fee for a goalkeeper) and probably most surprisingly Kyle Walker for £45m, Danilo for £26m and Mendy for £49.3m. That’s £120.8 million on fullbacks and a whopping £196.8 million in total on transfers this window.

MCFC now have 3 of the top 5 most expensive defenders in history!
Now unless Guardiola has come up with a revolutionary tactic in which you play two right backs, then at least one of the big money signings isn’t going to be playing. My money would be on Danilo being the man on the bench. I’m imagining he will be used as a backup for both Mendy and Walker until Walker inevitably starts making mistakes. Then Danilo will slot in at right back whilst Walker is sold to Arsenal to replace Bellerin who will have been sold to Barcelona…
~ I would piss myself if that came true now. I wonder what odds I’d get ~

On paper Danilo is a lot better defensively than Walker and Mendy, with the Brazilian full back making more tackles and interceptions than the other signings. He would also most probably suit City’s tactic more, with Danilo staying back and almost making a back three whilst Mendy or Walker push forward and support the attack.

Combined with Otamendi coming off his best season and Vincent Kompany if he stays fit, I think City will have a ridiculously overpowered defence that teams will definitely struggle to break down. For me Stones was not good enough last season, making only 1 tackle per game and 1.4 interceptions per game on average. At 23 I feel this is his last year to push on and fulfill his potential, otherwise he risks being pushed out of the side by the quality City have brought in.

Maybe Stones can learn a thing or two from his Argentine teammate...
I’m confident when I say that City are not done yet in this transfer window as their are still areas that Guardiola needs to improve on and the Spaniard definitely knows it. Creatively City were fine last season which was to be expected from a team that has both Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva in it.
~ De Bruyne created the second most chances last season of any player, beaten only by Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen ~

One of the issues with City last season was that Sergio Aguero had a bit of an off season for City. Despite scoring 20 goals last season he had around 140 chances in total, meaning it took him just over 7 chances just to score one goal last season...not a great return when you consider Olivier Giroud scored 1 goal every 3 chances…

I’m confident it was just an off season for Aguero and that he will be back to his best next season but if rumours are to be believed, Pep Guardiola doesn’t like the Argentine and will be looking to offload him sooner rather than later.

I know 20 goals is a good return but a lot of City fans noticed his dip in form.
The most important position that the City boss needs to fill is the third position of that front three. As I said before De Bruyne and Silva are world class and two of the best creative players in the Premier League but when you have Raheem Sterling completing the trio, leaching off their good play and bringing very little to the side himself then you have a problem.
~ If you want to read more about how bad Sterling is, feel free to read my post about him: Raheem Sterling is an Average Footballer ~

Leroy Sane was a good addition and has come up with some great moments of magic for City last season. But he’s only 21 and can’t be expected to put in world class performances at the highest level week in week out. Pep should maybe look to bring in a strong alternative to play whilst Sane matures. Possibly Boudebouz from Montpellier? The Algerian created more chances per game than De Bruyne last season despite his side finished 15th!

There is no doubt in my mind that Leroy Sane will be twice as good as Sterling.
Now as much as I have ragged on Guardiola over the last year, I have to give him credit this transfer window. He has brought in some much need quality into the team as well as offloading a lot of the dead wood that City have collected over the years.

The likes of Caballero, Nolito and Jesus Navas (Jesus Wept more like) were not good enough to improve the side while the likes of Sagna, Clichy, Zabaleta and Kolarov, although are good players, were getting on a bit and weren’t going to be playing much of a role in the years to come at the Etihad. It’s just intelligent business from Guardiola.

In my personal opinion though I don’t agree with what he has done to Hart this past year and I believe Pep hasn’t given him a fair crack but I’m sure Ederson is a top drawer keeper who will come big for City in the 2017/18 season.
~ I’m Guaranteeing that Hart keeps more clean sheets than Ederson next heard it here first! ~

Joe Hart is still a world class goalkeeper and he will prove it next season!
Despite all his spending though I don’t think City are gonna be ripping the league apart this season. I think they’ll look amazing in patches but in my honest opinion I’ve only ever seen The former Barcelona manager use one style of play throughout his career. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an attractive style of play but you need a backup plan in the Premier League and I just don’t see Guardiola having one…

But what do I know? He’ll probably go on to win the league now just to prove me wrong. The bastard.

All stats, facts and figures were lovingly given to me by the guys at

~ If you would like me to write about anything in particular, please feel free to comment below or contact me on social media. Speaking of which if you enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

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