Ask the Opposition

Ask the Opposition 27 – Swansea

Manchester City were handed a lifeline when West Ham beat Manchester United on Tuesday night. United’s defeat returned City’s Champions League fate back into their own hands.

Last week’s draw against Arsenal was disappointing but City actually produced one of their better performances this season. A repeat of that should be enough to see off a Swansea side that will rest several key players ahead of the Euros. Remember, City need only a point to secure that coveted 4th spot.

To get the latest from Swansea, we invited Swansea fan and AnalyticsFC analyst Bobby Gardiner on to the site.

How do you feel about giving Francesco Guidolin the job full-time? Is it the right move?

It’s definitely fair. Guidolin has done exactly what was asked of him, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he could do with a full pre-season. There’s a part of me that would have liked to see us go for someone bigger, especially as our upturn in form has been driven by some unrepeatable over-performance of expected goals and so on, but I hope it works out.

Wilfried Bony looks set to make his final appearance for City at the Liberty Stadium. Why has it just not worked out for him?

I honestly think that Bony would be great if he played, say, 30 league games. Stylistically he’s a bit unique and fits well into slow build-up, so maybe there’s some incompatability there, but more than anything I think it’s hard to play second fiddle at an elite club, especially in a position like striker where there is a huge tendency to categorise players as either a binary good or bad.

Manuel Pellegrini’s legacy at Manchester City has been subject of much debate this past week. How would you assess it?

I think he could have done better, but I’m sure Pellegrini would be the first to admit that. Looking at the squad and how this season has turned out, it’s hard to say that it hasn’t been a failure. Saying that, there’s the obvious caveat of the Pep announcement and its effect on the team. Getting to the UCL semis was good, but I would have liked to see a more adventurous gameplan than basically sitting back and hoping for the best against Madrid.

How do you feel about Pep setting up shop in Manchester this summer? Is he going to be a success?

I hope so, though I think it will be different for him. At Barcelona and Bayern, Pep has readily admitted that he rotated positions to keep it entertaining for his players – I’m not sure that’ll be something he has to worry about in the relatively competitive Premier League. I’m really looking forward to what he tries.

One Manchester City player you’d take at Swansea?

All of them. I’d take Bony back for the right price, but at the same time I’d probably rather try and buy another Bony for £10-12m with the hope of flipping him for similar profit rather than just pulling him back.

Score prediction?

2-0 City.

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  1. Pingback: City Summary – May 13: Guardiola plans training camp, 4 years since Agueroooo, Kanté on the way? – City Watch

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