Tag Archives: kevin de bruyne

If Man City sort these 2 issues out, Norwich City will not know what’s hit them

The Football Manc Cave is taking a closer look at Man City and Norwich as they face each other this weekend.

Currently, Man City sit 2nd in the league on 10 points. Norwich is 19th on 3 points. On paper, City should easily have this in the bag. They’ve recently beat Brighton 4-0, Bournemouth 3-1 and drawn with Tottenham 2-2. Norwich, on the other hand, has lost 2-0 to West Ham and lost 3-2 to Chelsea.

Pep Guardiola will obviously want his side to do everything possible to be top of the league and overtake Liverpool. The Blues have the upper hand tomorrow as Liverpool face Newcastle at 12.30. Man City don’t play until 5.30pm, which means that they’ll have the early game score in their minds for when they go for glory at Norwich. Does Man City need to make any changes to make sure they come away with 3 points?


Man City’s defence has been the topic of conversation for months. At first, fans were wondering who would have to replace Vincent Kompany, now that Aymeric Laporte is out injured, that’s taken over the conversation.

Pep Guardiola has used his tactics to drop Fernandinho to a defensive position, and John Stones is also a name who has been mentioned as he has supposedly recovered from a thigh injury.

International Break

Raheem Sterling is on top form at the minute and Kevin De Bruyne could assist pretty much anything too. The two have both been out in the international break playing for England and Belgium and proving their skill.

Now they will need to have their mind set back on the Premier League and settle back into their weekly job at hand. I do predict that City will win and they’ll bag a few goals. It will be a matter of which of their goal scorers can find the back of the net and how many times. Hopefully, the later kick-off and the fact that Liverpool plays first will help give the squad an indication of exactly what needs to be done.

‘De Bruyne got 3 assists in 23 minutes against Scotland…That’s as many as Man Utd’s Lingard’s got in 9 months’ The Man City man showing crazy levels once again

There aren’t many more superlatives that can be said about Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne anymore. However, the Belgian keeps taking his game up a level every time he steps on the pitch.

It soon got to that time of the year, the international break. While it’s a bore for some clubs that are left with no game to go to, it’s also a chance for some to watch their players in action for their home countries.

One of those players is Kevin De Bruyne who helped Belgium win 4-0 against Scotland on Monday. He made a hat-trick of assists and scored one. Man City fans and fans of the player in general have been tweeting their redactions to this and we have picked out some great ones…

2 players that must impress in the international break for Man City

Man City is lacking in English talent as only Raheem Sterling is called up for national duty with England.

Fortunately for them, they have worldwide talent in abundance. With the Euro 2020 qualifiers underway, these two European players need to impress on national duty to remain in favour with Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola is blessed with a squad of great depth and quality. This means that the players themselves have to stay on top of their game to remain in the title-contending squad.

International breaks are often a cause for concern for managers, as they fear injuries. But on the flip-side, ensuring that they are training and performing well before returning to their club is vital to the player’s mental and physical well being.

With that in mind, these two Man City players much impress during the International break for their home countries in order to prove themselves to Guardiola upon their return…

Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan is favoured behind David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and to some extent; Phil Foden.

After recently signing a four-year deal, the German international must compete for game time or be constrained to the bench and inevitably waste away or move away to a lower-tier club.

Should the midfielder have a big impact on Germany’s fixtures, Guardiola could have his hand forced in favouring the experienced International over Phil Foden should an opportunity occur for one of them to get game time.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Zinchenko has been the favoured left-back for Guardiola of late. With a severe knee injury to Benjamin Mendy, Oleksandr Zinchenko made his way into the starting eleven and has had a positive impact.

However, Mendy’s return is likely to be this season. Also, Man City recently acquired 22-year-old left-back Angelino, who will be fighting for his spot.

Should Zinchenko make his mark on the Ukraine squad, Guardiola could start to consider him more of a seasoned professional who can perform at high levels. His goal will be to remain in the starting eleven upon Mendy’s return, and a great performance for his country can do nothing to harm his chances.

Man City eyeing up 18y/o Argentine midfield wonderkid

Pep Guardiola is a man who likes to eye up his options and today is no different. The Football Manc Cave are looking at the new ‘wonder-kid’ Man City apparently monitoring.

The Manchester Evening News has reported how Pep Guardiola is currently keeping an eye on the contract situation of Velez Sarsfield youngster, Thiago Almada.

The 18-year-old has been tipped as a star of the future and Man City fans know that their boss is good at picking them out. The reason why Guardiola is looking so close to the teenager is that he’s yet to renew his current contract.

The midfielder has some impressive stats. Since 2018, he’s appeared 19 times for Vélez Sarsfield and bagged 3 goals. He’s also managed to make his appearance in Argentina Under 20’s team 7 times in 2019 and find the back of the net once. At such a young age, this is impressive.

The pass success rate is something that scouts are looking at these days to see if it matches with the rest of the squad, and Almada has a pass success rate of 82.4% according to Whoscored.com. You compare this to someone like Kevin De Bruyne who has a pass rate of 81.9, it’s pretty impressive. Don’t get me wrong, De Bruyne clearly has more playing time to create an average percentage, but for Pep Guardiola, you can see why he would be edging towards the teenager.

We’re sure that more news of his contract situation will come in the next few days and the decision of his future too. Could it be Manchester City?

Man City fans have spoken and demand Pep play midfielder this weekend

Man City was held to a 2-2 draw at Spurs, and now fans are demanding that one key player feature in the midfield against Bournemouth.

Pep Guardiola is blessed with one of the best midfield selections in European football. With the like of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogen, Rodri and Fernandinho at his disposal.

However, the winger/midfielder Bernardo Silva is the man the fans want to see partner Kevin De Bruyne in the midfield in their next game against Bournemouth. According to MEN Sport’s tweeted poll, 47% of fans wanted to see Bernardo Silva. Compared to David Silva at 32%, Phil Foden 13% and Ilkay Gundogen 8%.

Bernardo Silva was a fantastic central midfielder during Kevin De Bruyne’s absence last season. He returned to the wing upon his return. With De Bruyne being arguably irreplaceable he cannot be dropped for Bernardo Silva due to his immense quality. So naturally, fans want to see two partnered up.

Against Spurs, he didn’t manage to make the same sort of impact that he does when featuring in the midfield three. Guardiola’s reasoning for dropping Mahrez from the right-wing position for Bernardo Silva was to get game time for as many players as possible during the opening games of the season.

So who would make way should Bernardo Silva feature in the central midfield role?

Here is a starting eleven that we could see face Bournemouth…

Silva for Silva?

Rodri has made a mark on his new team and has been favoured for selection in both pre-season and season games so far. His position as a defensive midfielder who protects the back line and acts as a link between defence and attack is pivotal to how Man City play out from the back.

David Silva is one of Europe’s greatest talents. But he has publicly admitted that this season is his last. Guardiola could test the waters by replacing him for Bernardo Silva to see if a relationship between himself, Rodri and De Bruyne could blossom.

Vincent KopyCat: Early pressure for the former Man City Captain

According to The Mirror, former Man City Captain Vincent Kompany is under a lot of criticism at Anderlecht as his management and playing plan hasn’t gone as he would have hoped.

The 33-year old left Man City at the end of last year and announced that he would be joining Anderlecht as a player-manager. When he was first asked about his new position, he said, “I have learned so much the last 3 years from an incredible manager. Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game. Man City play the football I want to teach and to see be played.”

Unfortunately, Anderlecht lost to Kortrijk 4-2 at the weekend. He has apparently accepted the blame for all 4 goals as he was out of position. Kompany sent his players out to apologise to fans for the display.

The defender has now come under criticism for trying to ‘copy Pep Guardiola. Former Anderlecht and Ajax coach, Aad de Mos claimed that Kompany is failing because he’s trying to play Guardiola style football. He also said, “In football, you do not have to copy another coach, Kompany wants to do the same thing as Guardiola in City and that makes me sick.” He also made the point that Guardiola has the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, Kompany doesn’t have that level of players.

Another point made was that Kompany’s managerial track record is blank and his achievements as a player do not count. The Under 21 coach, Craig Bellamy also gave his insight and said, “I saw him at work last weekend and he knows nothing.” Ex Sheffield Wednesday and Anderlecht striker, Marc Degryse gave another criticism, “Kompany is only human, besides being a good footballer, but I feel he thinks he is God.”

Is Kompany God?

In my opinion, that’s a lot of negatives for a man who is only just starting out as a manager and has the added pressure of being a player too. He’s taking the blame for the goals but I’m going to defend him here. Kompany has been managed by one of the best football managers in the world for the past few years. He was obviously going to take what he’s learned from Guardiola and try to use it in his new role.

He has to find what works and what doesn’t. Kompany doesn’t have any managerial experience so he’s literally throwing himself in at the deep end. Anderlecht still managed to score twice in the defeat, clearly, they were contenders in the game at times. If they’d have won at the weekend, I bet none of this criticism would have come this way about him at all. Not just the negatives about the game but even the comments about him thinking he is “God.”

The man is under a lot of pressure and in a few months, if things are still the same then his job will be on the line. However, he needs time, he needs the chance to help this squad. There have been points made about him not having players like Sterling and De Bruyne and to me that’s stupid. Course he doesn’t have that standard to manage but surely, as a player-manager, his job is to try and get these players up to that standard and develop.

‘For Man City, this game wasn’t about VAR, it was about wasted chances’

It hasn’t taken long for VAR to make its mark on the Premier League as both Man City and Tottenham Hotspur experienced. Fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration, here’s what we can gather…

When asked about the consistency of VAR in the Man City v Spurs post-match press conference, Guardiola responded with “ask the VAR guys” in a tone that suggested he was uncertain about the accuracy and consistency of the virtual referee.

Fans, unlike Pep, were able to go full force on their objections, or their support, of VAR.

Man City was toe-to-toe with Spurs in a 2-2 lockdown. A controversial handball against the Citizens detected by VAR prevented the team from scoring in the dying minutes of the game.

For many, VAR is killing the sport we all know and love…

A large concern with VAR was that its accuracy will destroy the conversations, the arguments and the camaraderie of debating a referee’s decisions. As it stands, VAR is failing on that front. Many people find the usage of VAR to be very suspect, and it most certainly stirs up a conversation…

However, similar to a suspect referee decision, the team who benefits from it tend to support…

Opposition fans make a fair argument, pro-VAR. In the Man City v Spurs fixture, Man City had 30 shots with 10 on target. Compared to Spurs’ 3 shots with 2 on target…

It looks like VAR is just another referee that won’t get its feelings hurt by criticism. Fans arguing about VAR is evidence of its lack of inaccuracy, and it most definitely has a long way to go.

3 players Man City need to shift before the Euro window closes

The Euro transfer window is still open and the Football Manc Cave are looking at 3 players Man City could get rid of or loan.

Pep Guardiola is a man who knows exactly what he wants and sometimes he wants to sign players and not use them, or at least not straight away. With Leroy Sané out injures at the minute, last weeks game made fans wonder who was going to replace him and Guardiola is a man with many options.

With a solid team consisting of Ederson, Walker, Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Jesus and many more, it leaves a bunch of others wanting playing time. Man City are known to sign players, build them up, add to their value and then sell or sometimes refuse to sell them.

With this in mind, here are three options of players that could be used somewhere else to gain some experience…

Daniel Grimshaw

When Claudio Bravo got injured last year, Grimshaw was the first in line to replace him. He’s a life long Man City fan and has played for the club since he was 9. Coming through the youth and development ranks, he’s clearly happy to be in a Man City shirt.

However, with Ederson being the main option, Bravo second and the arrival of Scott Carson on loan. This may be the perfect time to get him some experience from another club and Man City’s links with clubs abroad may help with that. That way he could come back motivated, determined and ready to step up.

Benjamin Mendy

The French 25-year-old only made 10 appearances for Man City last season. He has been undergoing surgery for a knee injury recently which will put him in a hard position when it comes to getting back into the squad. Pep Guardiola has apparently told him what he will need to do to get back into the squad, as he returned to training this week although it could be a possibility that he gets loaned out to another club who could make use of him maybe as a substitute.

His fitness won’t be up to scratch right now especially when defenders are needed to be in top condition for the champions. Hopefully, this will solve his recovery and he can arrive back at the Etihad better than ever.

Ryotaro Meshino

The 21-year-old only signed for Man City this month, however, he’s used to Japanese football and could benefit from going elsewhere to gain some experience. He has also been linked with a move to Hearts on a loan deal if it can officially go through. This is something Pep Guardiola’s team is known for doing. Signing a player, sending them out on loan and then taking them back when they’re ready. Meshino will be perfect for this whether it be Hearts or somewhere else, they should make this happen.

2 players need to step up to see Man City ease past Spurs

From one big Manchester/London game to another, Man City face Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad in the toughest Premier League game so far.

Spurs famously knocked Man City out of the Champions League last season. Can they imitate the same kind of confidence to cause a huge upset in the race for the Premier League title?

The Premier League this season has become very complex, and ponders many questions… Will Man City run away with it? Will Liverpool slip and will Spurs step up? Who will exceed out of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd?

Answers may begin to appear very early in the season, as Spurs face Man City at the Etihad in the second game of the Premier League.


Tottenham is now the most highly rated London team as their rivals begin to slip into the realms of the race for fourth place. Spurs’ ultimate goal should now be to win the Premier League. Manager Pochettino is well aware that his squad should not have let 3rd place slip last season. Spurs can comfortably make top 4, so all that’s worth playing for is the Premier League trophy.

This could bring out a very confident, direct and competitive Tottenham Hotspur against Man City.

Pochettino could set up in a defensive and compact manner. Seeing the likes of Ndombele and Sissoko to match David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

The killer for Spurs will be the direct, counter-attacking threat. However, without Son Heung-min in the side, Lucas Moura will have to be the legs for the forward line.

Man City

Asserting their dominance with a big win over Spurs could be the turning point already, where the Citizens run away with title once again. With Man Utd crushing Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford, matching their neighbours by obliterating a better London side.

Furthermore, beating the third-best team in the league easily, as they beat everyone else would really put a dampener on the spirits of the league.

With Sane injured, we may see Mahrez step in his place after impressing against West Ham. But having the option between him and Bernardo Silva can’t hurt their chances of success.

It is likely that Pep Guardiola will favour Gabriel Jesus over Sergio Aguero once again. But it appears Raheem Sterling is taking the reigns on the goal-scoring front, so the South Americans have to step their game up too.

Man City are the best-drilled and most confident team in the league, as well as being the most talented. But if a fully focused and motivated Tottenham Hotspur turn up to fight, they could throw a spanner in the works for Man City’s third consecutive Premier League trophy.

Man Utd pass up on 75.1% pass completion rated midfielder, a good move?

Manchester United decided not to sign Bruno Fernandes this summer, and the Daily Mail have reported that club scouts warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the midfielder gives away the ball too much.

Man United have been linked with the 24-year-old throughout the summer however, club scouts who were watching him decided that his style of play would not suit the team.

Even though Fernandes works with an element of risk in the attacking third, his pass completion was 75.1% last season. This has not been deemed high enough by the scouts. If you compare this stat to Paul Pogba, his pass rate is 82.8% and if we move away from Man United, Kevin De Bruyne has a consistent pass rate of 82% and over.

Personally, I think we now analyse players too much by stats and not through actually watching them play. Man United will be looking for new options now in midfield, however, here’s two things Fernandes could have brought to the Manchester team.


He is known as an attacking midfielder and is comfortable in that position. Fernandes also has the role of a striker in his profile. This means that Manchester United have missed out on a possible goalscorer too. Since 2017, the 24-year-old has appeared 66 times for Sporting Lisbon and scored 31 times. He’s also been a part of Portugal’s youth teams and senior squad since 2012.


Harry Maguire

Obviously, Man United went all out for Harry Maguire this summer and need to try and cut down on spending, so Fernandes would have been a cheaper midfield option than some. According to Transfermarkt, he went to Sporting for £8.72 million and is now worth £49 million. Yes, you can find cheaper out there although Man United’s scouts clearly have a high standard and that would have to be met.

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