It’s common these days (and sometimes quite effective) to have a manager who will tinker around with the tactics each game, but Pep Guardiola is doing it a little too much now and it may be costing him results. For Rafa Benitez in his time at Liverpool, he was often one to tinker around – but then again, the Liverpool gaffer didn’t have a billionaire team at his disposal.
Although Man City probably should have taken their chances at the weekend against Chelsea – some of the defending on display was abysmal, and this has been frequent throughout the season. Has this three at the back system even worked for Guardiola once? One thing is for sure, it’s not going to work with Aleksandar Kolarov there; the bloke made Willian look like Usain Bolt.
If Man City are going to be that fragile to a counter attack, then it’s obvious that Guardiola is doing something wrong. With just two clean sheets this season, Pep needs to settle on a system soon or they will struggle to keep up with Chelsea. Mercifully, Guardiola is unlikely to come under any criticism from multiple sections of blue seats, so that should buy him more time – when will Man City fans start turning up!?
— Top Flight Talk (@TopFlightTalk) December 3, 2016
Guardiola has made 46 changes to their side this season, strange, when considering Guardiola is supposed to have a set style of play, an algorithm which he can bring to any team and succeed – or is he finally struggling in a league which is actually competitive?
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) December 3, 2016
Pep, therefore, has a lot to prove, but first he has to make his mind up on a formation. Consistency has proved effective in the Premier League, perfectly evident by the fact the last two title winners changed their team the least amount of times. As well as that, can the Spaniard please start showing some bloody decency in the face of defeat…
Effectively, City must keep it simple to succeed, do the basics right first. Stop fiddling with formations and pick a system to play, let the team settle. Of course, it’s easy for fans to say this from the sofa, but sometimes simplicity is key and the supporters have a valid point. Will he ever be able to replicate Barcelona perfectly? Nope, not for at least a decade anyway. Barca’s style is embedded into their youth systems and the team is drilled through discipline; their teams even have to keep their shirts tucked in! Imagine instructing that on an English football field.
As a world-class manager, everyone expects Pep to get it right in the end. He can start by getting rid of his three at the back system, it’s been terrible for City and their laughable defending this season shows that.
The Spaniard needs to stop messing around with his team when it doesn’t need to be adjusted too, he handled the Yaya Toure situation well, and now it’s time to get the vital Ivorian back in his team each week. Yaya is a match winner, and so long as he receives some appreciation on his birthday, he’ll be more than happy to find the net. If Guardiola can maintain the fitness of Toure, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, it’s scary to think how City will play with these three on form!
Have a look at the 11 January transfer window Premier League bargains to be had…