It’s clear Guardiola needs to Man City strengthen in this key area in January
The Football Manc Cave is looking at what’s going wrong for Pep Guardiola at Man City and which area he needs to work on.
This season was supposed to be another exciting battle between Liverpool and Man City for the top spot. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought it would be a lot tighter at the top in terms of points at this stage in the season. Liverpool remains undefeated while City is losing points to unexpected teams like Wolves and Norwich.
So what is going wrong for Guardiola? And what area of his team needs work?
In January, he will have the chance to recruit any new players of interest and at this stage, it just has to be defenders. Let’s be honest here, things at the back have been a worry since Vincent Kompany left. Fans could tell that the Kompany shaped hole that had been left, hadn’t been filled to standard and now with Laporte’s injury, things are even more concerning.
The current plan at the Etihad is a combination of Fernandinho, Joao Cancelo, Otamendi and Kyle Walker. Guardiola has used a past tactic and is using Fernandinho, a midfielder, and putting him in a defensive position. It’s working well for now but it is in no way a long term plan.
Against Wolves, when you break it down, Emerson, Cancelo, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Rodri and Gundogan all got yellow cards. To me, this proves that the defence is scrambling all the time to try and stop any attack progressing and they are getting frustrated.
Kyle Walker was the only defender without a card, he got subbed in the 46th minute for Zinchenko. Rodri and Gundogan are both playing in defensive midfield positions and they are also receiving cautions which proves that they are also struggling.
When I was watching the Wolves goals at the weekend, I kept a close eye on the defence and to me, it looks like the defence are pushing too far down the pitch. At one point when Wolves broke and did actually score, every defender was on the halfway line at the start of the attack. That left them all chasing the ball and the Wolves players and it resulted in conceding.
Pep needs to sort this issue out if he wants a shot at getting his team back in the title race. He has some promising development team players like Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis but they’re not up to the challenge of Premier League football just yet in terms of fitness and age.
So when January comes, who would you recruit in his position?