Opinions

What does Pep need to do to make this a title winning run?

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (C) celebrates on the pitch with his players after the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on October 29, 2016.

Manchester City won the game 4-0. / AFP / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has been a winner wherever he has coached, leading both Barcelona and Bayern Munich to three titles in his spell at the European giants.

The Spaniard arrived in England to much fanfare and was charged with the task of continuing the success of previous managers Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini.

Things began well with 10 straight victories in all competitions at the start of the season, including six in the Premier League but, with eight games to go, they sit fourth in the standings and are 14 points behind table-topping Chelsea.

There are still 24 to play for but even the most optimistic of City fans will concede that it looks forlorn hope that they will claw back the deficit to claim the spoils this term.

A glance at betting tips on sbat.com will help decide whether they are worth a punt but it does appears that a top-four berth might be the limit of their ambitions this season.

So what could the boss do to rally his troops over the final couple of months of the campaign?

City have lost six games and four of those have been against teams vying for the Champions League places, with Chelsea doing the double over the Citizens.

Tottenham and Liverpool have also got the better of Guardiola’s side and it may well be that the boss needs to rethink his tactics against the leading lights.

He is well known for encouraging his troops to play out from the back and keep possession for as long as possible but, if plan A does not work, do they have an alternative way of breaking teams down?

He may need to learn how to ‘win ugly’ when it is necessary as managing in the English top-flight is not like Spain or Germany, with many teams setting out to frustrate those who play ‘pretty’ football and hit them on the counter-attack.

Barcelona would regularly win 4-0 or 5-0, while Bayern also dominated most teams in the Bundesliga, but even the sides towards the lower reaches of the Premier League can cause problems and take points off the likes of City.

The North West giants do have a relatively easy run-in on paper, with only the Manchester derby pitting them against one of the top sides, and so Guardiola will be urging his charges to be ruthless and try to put together a winning run to send a warning out that they mean business next season.

Discipline among the players has not been good this season as star players Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho have served suspensions due to red cards, with the latter picking up three in six games round the turn of the year.

It is one thing assembling an expensive squad but keeping them on the pitch is vital as they can do nothing sat in the stands.

The players do seem to have bought into the Guardiola way and it may well be that they are a force to be reckoned with next term but there is still much to play for between now and mid May.

It will be considered as a disaster if they do not qualify for next season’s elite club competition and, along with the FA Cup, the top-four must now be a priority.

City have an excellent squad, although the need to lower the age of the defence will surely be addressed in the summer, but Guardiola must ensure that they take care of business and prove to him that they are worthy of a place in the squad for the coming seasons.

The 46-year-old now knows that coaching in England is not a walk in the park and he will be judged this season and going forward on how he adapts to the Premier League.

Comments
To Top