After a year at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola now understands the enormity of his task to turn the club into world beaters. The Catalan coach, one of the world’s finest tacticians, faces the real prospect of ending his first season at the Etihad with no trophies, unless City can overcome Arsenal then either Chelsea or Tottenham to win the FA Cup.
Pep has the full backing of City bosses and the majority of the fan base, with most accepting that the ageing squad just isn’t up to task and needs serious changes. And according to Spanish source El Confidencial, Pep will ‘take out a broom and sweep’ the Manchester City locker room this summer.
Guardiola has high standards and despite publicly backing his players, he will be as disappointed as anyone that City are 12 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea and out of the Champions League before the quarter-final stage. El Confidencial says sporting director, Txiki Begiristain, has a big task ahead and has already been told by Guardiola that many changes are needed this summer.
Pep began his renewal of City last summer and after nearly a year of work, he now knows the club and players well. And the news from Spain is that he will make ‘drastic decisions’ on par with those at Barcelona in 2008, when he axed the likes of Ronaldinho, Deco and, eventually, Samuel Eto’o. The suggestion from El Confidencial is that Sergio Agüero could be the shock casualty in a summer of great change. For now, any exit for Kun remains mere speculation, but with the player himself even admitting he’s received no assurances, those stories are not going away.
One of Pep’s biggest mistakes so far has been Claudio Bravo, who is described as a ‘personal bet’ by El Confidencial. The 33-year-old is no longer first-choice goalkeeper, falling behind Willy Caballero, who no one would ever have envisioned being City’s number one in March 2017. Bravo is not one to accept a substitute role – the reason he left Barcelona last summer – and this raises the likelihood that a new shot-stopper, quite possibly Ederson Moraes, will be brought in.
Pep was quoted in The Sun two days ago as saying he “wants to change many things in the next season” and with a number of players under-performing, six veterans out of contract in June, and several big names loaned out and up for sale, Manchester City could be in line for an unprecedented overhaul in the coming months.
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