Pep Needs To Copy Jose At Man City


On the tenth of September, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City rocked up at rivals Manchester United’s home and the Citizen’s turned Jose Mourinho’s United side over.

The atmosphere in the away end was almost palpable as they bossed possession, created more chances and looked the much superior unit.

Guardiola had once again outclassed long-time foe Jose Mourinho.

Fast forward and today City were humbled 4-0 at Goodison with Everton supporter’s chanting ‘You’re getting sacked in the Morning‘ at Pep.

Now obviously Man City’s board won’t even consider sacking the Spaniard in his debut season at the Etihad, he was brought in with a long-term plan in mind after all.

But it’s understandable that many in sky blue will scratching their heads after yet another poor performance from Pep’s side.

In their last ten Premier League fixtures they’ve lost four times. That recent indifferent run has seen the club fall out of the league’s all important top four places. In the encounters against the current Champions League placed incumbents City have lost three and won just once (at home against Arsenal).

It’s interesting that Pep has failed in his two attempts against Everton and his old Barcelona teammate Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman clearly sets his teams up to stop Man City from paying their usual game. They allowed Man City plenty of the ball but worked strong defensively to hassle when the ball reaches dangerous positions.

After soaking up much pressure in the first half they battled forward and Romelu Lukaku finished superbly with a first time finish. Sloppy defending helped Everton as they doubled their lead a minute or so into the second period. The Toffees then heaped on more misery as they added another two goals in the last eleven minutes, which gave Guardiola his heaviest league defeat.

It’s clear that City are still soft in the defensive areas and Pep really should consider introducing tackling sessions.

I don’t think anyone at the Etihad is as convinced as Pep is when it comes to new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Against Everton he conceded all four of the shots that hit his target. He’s a goalie that seems to get smaller when a shot is struck or in one-on-one situations.

Really Guardiola has to look at what Mourinho has done recently at Man United and look to copy few things from Jose’s book.

No doubt the very idea would infuriate Señor Guardiola!

After a lacklustre start at Old Trafford this season, Man Utd have turned things around. After today’s game against Liverpool, United have now gone twelve games without defeat.

Jose has finally found a formula and system that gets the best out of his players and they’ve gained the belief to go on and have that fine run. He isn’t just getting the best out of his top stars, he has also managed to get more from his fringe players too.

The Portuguese boss also has a plan b and will go direct if he needs to. If you look at today’s equaliser, Marouane Fellaini’s presence played a big part in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal.

Guardiola is known to be quite a stubborn coach and fully believes in keeping with his tactics and philosophies.

That can’t always work straight away at a club. Yes City started off well but things have declined dramatically and they are now just two points ahead of their neighbours who occupy sixth spot.

People will state that this isn’t really Pep’s team but I disagree with that. I think Guardiola’s plans were already being put into place during the summer of 2015.

Look at how the board backed him in the Joe Hart affair. They went out and bought Bravo for £17m from Barcelona and allowed two time Premier League winner and fan favourite Hart to leave on loan to join Torino.

In the summer of 2016 they spent in excesses of £163m to give Pep a squad capable of challenging for the league crown. But that looks less likely as each game week passes and they now trail Chelsea by ten points.

So I have to say that this is Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Certain players look scared of their own shadows, others are being played out of position and City still need striking options when Sergio Aguero hits a rough patch, gets injured or misses out through suspension.

Money can’t solve all of Guardiola’s problems at Manchester City, he needs to adapt more to his surroundings and find a way of winning the vast majority of games they play in (even if it means being pragmatic or going more direct).

Once he has settled on a winning team and a plan b, then he can perfect his usual style at the Etihad.

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