Tag Archives: Bernardo Silva

Sterling hat-trick, 5 goals & a clean sheet, and still Man City’s boss demanded more. Here are 2 things he would have learnt

The Football Manc Cave are looking at two things we learnt from watching Pep Guardiola’s Man City side that beat West Ham 5-0 at the weekend.

The opening weekend of the Premier League always brings surprises and the opening weekend of the league and this one was full of goals. With Manchester City’s closest competition, Liverpool winning 4-1 the night before, it was a goal war on the opening weekend to determine who would go to the top of the league at this early stage.

There was some VAR drama in the game although the decision was seemingly right and an awful penalty taken by Aguero got fans talking, it was a good job he got a chance to retake it.

So aside from these factors, what could be learned from the team’s performance this weekend?

Leroy Sané

When the news came in that Sané would be put for some time while he undergoes surgery due to an injury, it was a big blow. He had looked positive in pre-season and was expected to be a big part of the season for the Blues. Speculation started to grow to who would start and in what position for Man City.

I predicted that Sterling would drop to a wing position and Jesus could go upfront alone. This is exactly what happened and Man City still performed brilliantly. Jesus got on the score sheet and Raheem Sterling managed a hat-trick which was brilliant for my fantasy football team. This shows that the team can produce that same level of football without a key asset.

Training Standards

Off the back of my first point, this also proves that Pep Guardiola’s side has training standards higher than any other Premier League team. This is because other teams could have a player out injured and you’d be able to tell. With this Man City side, I honestly believe that there’s always someone else that can cover or drop into a position and perform to the same standard.

Look at when Kevin De Bruyne was out and Bernardo Silva had to reinvent himself, they still won the league. Vincent Kompany has left yet the defence is still tight. Guardiola apparently still had improvements that he wanted his squad to go over after Saturday’s performance, which is why his players always give it their all. The pressure clearly makes them strive and this is why they will win the league once again this season.

A Major Loss: Two players that could fill Sané’s role this season for Man City

After looking promising in pre-season, Leroy Sané’s season is now in jeopardy for Man City as he has sustained an injury already.

Yesterday, Pep Guardiola revealed that when Sané went off with an injury after 13 minutes in the Community Shield, he may now be out for up to 7 months. He has apparently torn his anterior cruciate ligament and will need surgery.

This is a big blow as pre-season have fans a glimpse of his growing talent that should have seen him be a big part of Man City’s season. Now that the transfer window is closed and the season starts this weekend, what plan could Pep Guardiola come up with to solve the Sané shaped hole?

Raheem Sterling

He has known to be a big contribution to Man City’s goal-scoring tally. Guardiola may now get him to move into a winger position and have Aguero and Jesus upfront. All three will no doubt be big goal scorers for the club, they’ll just have to shuffle around a little. Jesus is also capable of filling that winger position if needed and could help to fill the role as they are both known to be hungry for goals.

Bernardo Silva

Silva is a versatile player who was able to cover for Kevin De Bruyne last season when he was out. There’s a chance that Guardiola may ask him to reinvent himself once again and fill that winger position. It’s a big ask, however, the Man City squad is one of which players are known for being capable of switching it up and adapting to change. Silva has proven that in the past so it is an option if there are any problems with this plan, he can also rotate with Sterling and Riyad Mahrez who could also cover the wings.

Two Leroy Sane replacements for Man City should he move to Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich is still set on signing Man City’s Leroy Sane, here’s who Guardiola should replace him with.

According to reports, Leroy Sane, 23, is close to a move to Bayern Munich, despite no official bid being made as of yet. The reason for the move, apparently, is due to a lack of game time given to the young winger.

With Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva being the favourites to occupy the wings, it has left little room for Sane to grow and improve the way he wants to. As a result, it is clear that the German is happy to move away from the Etihad.

Guardiola will have to find suitable quality that will also be happy to receive a similar amount of game time to Leroy Sane. Here are two options that the Blues have…

Gareth Bale

It is clear that Zidane is keen on offloading Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. Alongside Leroy Sane being unhappy with game time. It may not be a stretch to see Bale join the Citizens, and happily sit on the bench or appear in lesser threat games next season. The Welshman’s future has been up in the air all summer but may depend on the future locations of other stars before a suitable deal can be made.

Bale, despite being of the greatest players in European football, could be seeking a loan deal which allows his wages to split between his parent club. Real Madrid and whichever temporary club he finds himself at should he leave.

Paulo Dybala

The 25-year-old Argentine was one of the world’s most sought after youngsters only a few years ago. However, he hasn’t lived up to all expectations so far, especially after being shoehorned out of the side as Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus last summer.

Dybala has established himself as a number 10, attacking-midfielder. However, he could be reworked as an inverted winger in Manchester City’s squad, possibly allowing him to reach that potential.

Man City should line up against Kitchee FC with these two youngsters involved today

As Manchester City continue their pre-season tour of Asia, The Football Manc Cave look at what their starting eleven should look like against Kitchee FC.

Pep Guardiola’s side made the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy at the weekend and even though it’s only classed as a pre-season warm-up, his team failed to collect the award. The game finished goalless which resulted in a penalty shootout that Man City lost 3-2 to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite the loss, this game saw a lot of the City squad get a chance to play.

In the second half, there were plenty of substitutes that saw Guardiola’s side have nearly a complete team makeover. As well as giving youngsters a chance to play, this also gives Man City a chance to look at their new captain. Vincent Kompany’s departure has left that role vacant. The name of the player taking the armband has been up in the air. The Man City boss has stated that his squad will be picking their new leader, which is why these pre-season games have seen Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva have a go at leading the side.

Personally, I think David Silva should captain his club in what will be his last season at the Manchester side. With that in mind, this is the side I have picked for their game against Kitchee FC on Wednesday.

Quite a few of the squad such as Sergio Aguero and Ederson are entitled to holidays before joining Man City again, as they’ve been busy in other commitments over the summer. This gives other players a chance to shine for Guardiola.

Claudio Bravo has had a lot to do in pre-season, as he’s had to play in a penalty shoot-out and replace Ederson while he’s not available. He will surely get picked again on Wednesday.

Defence

Angelino didn’t get a start in their last game so maybe he should be considered as fans want to see him play. Taylor Harwood-Bellis has played well for Man City in Asia and again, he didn’t start their game against Wolves so he should be considered to be in the starting line up. Aymeric Laporte was subbed in the second half of the last game however he should definitely be in that starting line up. Finally, Kyle Walker, again, he wasn’t started on Saturday and should be given a chance. Guardiola has proven he has other options now.

Midfield

The midfield line I have changed completely. Players that were brought on to try and drive for a goal in the second half against Wolves, should be given an opportunity to start. Fans want to get a chance to see Rodri in action and he can always be brought on at any point but Lukas Nmecha, Bernardo Silva and IIkay Gundogan should all get a chance.

The main topic of conversation, David Silva should definitely start as captain. Kevin De Bruyne started as the leader of the pack on Saturday, as a bid to take the armband for next season. David Silva should have the chance to prove himself again.

Attack

Leroy Sané and Ben Knight should be given the chance to start up front together to see how they work as a duo. Raheem Sterling can always replace the young striker, and there are also other options on the bench in case Pep Guardiola’s side aren’t performing how he imagines.

This is only pre-season and a chance for youngsters to show their worth, as well as senior members to prove they need to stay in the lineup.

3 things we learnt from yesterday’s Man City defeat to Wolves

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…

Captain Issues

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?

Low Expectations

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.

Subs

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.

2 strengths, 2 weakness that could see Man City struggle in the Premier League

Manchester City winning the Premier League three times in a row may not be as possible as you think.

Last season, Pep Guardiola led the Citizens to win the domestic quadruple. Manchester City came away with their second Premier League trophy in a row after winning the league in the previous season.

Ever since the financial takeover in 2008, Man City have carefully planned and allocated money sensibly. Their club structure has brought the Blues to where they are now.

Man City now have a squad filled with extremely talented players, some of which could walk into the biggest clubs in Europe. Such as Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling, Ederson, Leroy Sane and David Silva. To name a few.

Here are two strengths this Guardiola’s men have which can enable them to secure success in the upcoming season.

Squad Depth

Having Leroy Sane on the bench in place of Bernardo Silva demonstrates their squad depth, despite it potentially causing an issue to Sane. Man City has recently acquired the services of Rodri for £62.8million from Atletico Madrid, according to The Guardian. Man City will have a talented midfielder to come in when Fernandinho is unavailable.

Momentum

Pep Guardiola has instilled a winning mentality into this Man City squad. Last season, they lost only four games and drew two. Should the Blues have a successful pre-season, they could continue to storm through the Premier League.

However, there may be some weaknesses in this Manchester City team, which could see them have much less success in the 19/20 campaign. Here are two which could see Guardiola’s squad slip down the league table…

They’ve figured you out…

Manchester City plays a very intricate, possession-based build-up. Many teams facing Man City last season feared their attacking quality and sat off the players. This gives some of the best players in the league a large amount of space.

Laporte plays a crucial role as he constantly receives the ball and plays his trademark long-pass.

In Manchester United’s pre-season, we have seen that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is urging his team to press very high and chase the ball down. We have seen Man City crumble when teams put this kind of pressure on them. The next Manchester derby will be fun to watch.

Chasing the Champions League

There have been rumours circulating about Guardiola having his final season at the Etihad. According to Daily Record, he is considering a break from football. The upcoming season will be his fourth in charge of Man City and Guardiola has never been with a club for more than four seasons.

Having won all domestic trophies with Man City, Guardiola may be setting his focus on the Champions League. This could have a large effect on Manchester City’s domestic success due to the pressure and fatigue caused by European football.

What Is The Best Move For Man City’s Leroy Sane

For many months of last season, Leroy Sane cut a lonely figure in a City side that completed English football’s first ever domestic treble.

Benched for most of the run-in despite key goals in games against Man United and Liverpool, the form shown by Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan meant the German was nowhere near to be seen in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven.

All this came after being named the young player in England’s top league in 2017/18. Playing in a front three with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling where the blues recorded 100 points, it came to a point where the 23-year-old seemed to be a certain winner for the Ballon D’or in the coming years.

This season we did see Sane show his quality, yet only in small doses. Games in the Champions League against Hoffenheim and Schalke was where Sane put in performances of his peak ability.

Whether it was a lack of effort or trouble behind the scenes, it seemed there was always a question mark over his performances. This due to his effort most likely, because finding a reason to fault his natural ability is so hard.

16 goals scored in all competitions and 18 assists, what was really keeping the German out of the side is anyone’s guess, or maybe, there are just better in-form players than Sane.

With a £90 million pound transfer fee hanging on his head and Bayern Munich rumoured to be on the lookout, the number 19 is at a potential crossroads with regards to his career. Does he stay and fight for a place with no attacking midfielder likely to come in this summer, or take the hasty move and walk out and return to his native country.

If he can’t guarantee first-team action, Leroy Sane is far too good to be warming up seats on the Etihad bench. With Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling in the form of their lives, Sane cutting his ties may be the best move for all parties.