The final of the Premier League Asia Cup saw Man City and Wolverhampton Wanderers go head to head yesterday.
Man City fans were hopeful that their side would conquer yet another cup, even if it’s just part of preseason. Unfortunately, just a preseason warm-up is all the fans got as Wolves went on to win the game 3-2 on penalties.
Pep Guardiola must have realised that his side didn’t look like finding the back of the net as he kept on making changes. At one point, Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Adrián Bernabé all were subbed at the same time for Kyle Walker, İlkay Gündoğan, Bernardo Silva and David Silva. The Man City boss also replaced Rodri, Laporte, Zinchenko and Sane with Lukas Nmecha, Angelino, Harwood-Bellis and Alex Garcia.
Even with nearly a full squad change, Man City still couldn’t bag a goal which took the game straight to penalties.
So after this loss, the Football Manc Cave explores three things we have learned from the Manchester side today…
Obviously, with Vincent Kompany leaving the club at the end of last season, this gave the armband a new owner and today that player was Kevin De Bruyne. Weeks ago, it was reported that David Silva was looking most likely to take the responsibility of leading Man City out next season. Now Guardiola has stated that his players will pick their next leader.
Having a player on the pitch who everyone respects and values are vital to a football team. Vincent Kompany will surely be missed as he stepped up to the role confidently. Now it’s up in the air as to who will replace him and after their performance today, Kevin De Bruyne must be a sceptical choice. Who do you think should take the armband?
It’s clear that the Premier League Asia Cup isn’t something that is taken too seriously and is more of a preseason warm-up than anything else. A lot of Man City fans have stated how this was just a fitness session and a warm-up before the start of the season, and they don’t seem too bothered about the loss. However, some have noted their concerns over the fact that this should have been an easy win that ended up in a draw at full time. Some are concerned, that these are the kind of matches that the Blues need to pick up all three points in when the Premier League starts again.
Even though Guardiola’s side lost on penalties, you can’t argue that his team has such a variety and good quality of back up options. In a friendly, most teams use nearly all the subs possible to give every player a chance and opportunity. This was no different. Four or five changes at a time should usually see a team bring on players that aren’t as experienced and senior as other teammates, or players that fans are sceptical about.
Not this team. When you can take the likes of your new signing, Rodri with players like Zinchenko and Sane off. Then replace them with the likes of David and Bernardo Silva, surely it proves the talent in your squad.
The loss aside, Man City fans will look forward to the new Premier League campaign, new players and hopefully another title.