Three at the back isn’t working
It took Pep 18 months before he really started using a variation of the three at the back at Bayern Munich and yet at City he’s dived straight in and has had us using it from pretty early on in the season. However, on tonight’s showing it isn’t quite working and may need a rethink.
It’s difficult to pinpoint where it’s not working. The first time we used it against Everton we managed to cut through them like the proverbial hot knife through butter, but subsequent showings haven’t really worked and tonight again Pep found himself having to ditch it mid-match (some 30 minutes into the game to be a little more precise).
A harsher critic might say he didn’t pay his opposite number the requisite respect. Don’t let the league position fool you, Andre Schubert is a very talented manager and Borussia Mönchengladbach are a very good team. Tonight they very quickly smelled blood in our ragged defensive set up and it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them score a second quickly after the first.
We had no answer to their low block which is in itself worrying considering we had De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero, Sterling, and Gundogan on the pitch, but really it was the problems that we were being caused on the break that demanded the change.
Iheanacho should be getting a chance
In other words Kun needs a kick up the arse. After a poor showing against Palace he was again very poor tonight. One of the major reasons we looked so toothless was that it felt at times like we were playing with 10 men as time after time the ball either bounced off him or he ran down a predictable blind alley.
His first touch and passing were way wayward and when chances or half chances did come he was found severely wanting. By an hour into the match it was crying out for a change of tact. Iheanacho could’ve gone and played alongside him or as a direct replacement. It felt like the kind of moment primed for the kid to go and win it.
It looks like Aguero picked up a knock that may rule him out for the weekend, but even if he hadn’t, on his showing against Palace and tonight, it looks like our mercurial genius is struggling.