The Football Manc Cave is looking at the rumour regarding some Tottenham Hotspur players apparently being put on the transfer list in January. Some may spark interest from Man City
According to the Daily Mail, Pochettino is understandably not happy with his squad’s performances and is supposedly going to be acting on this in January when he releases some of his squad. It’s being referred to as a ‘mid-season clear out.’
Players rumoured to be on his list include; Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose, Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama. If this is true, these players will have to start looking at other options now. It may even affect some of their attitudes and performances but other teams should start to analyse this news.
One club that could use this to their advantage is Man City…
Man City seem to be having problems at the back so signing the 25-year-old may help. He’s known as a defensive midfielder but is also comfortable as a centre back and a right back. This could give Pep Guardiola’s players a little bit of relief with injuries at the back and fewer options are proving difficult.
Players like Rodri who have potential to attack aren’t getting that chance right now because they’re being played in defensive positions. Bringing someone like Dier in could be tactical.
The 29-year-old left-back can also play left midfield, so he is another option to give some relief at the back and also to pick up a defensive midfield position. Pep Guardiola also appreciates players who can alternate in position, it’s something he tries to train and use in case his squad ever picks up injuries.
The 26 year old right back can also offer help in a left back position and at centre back. He’s another player that would give the Man City defence some hope. He also could be a helping hand to Kyle Walker, as Guardiola often substitutes his right back in the later stages of games. Aurier could be the man to replace Walker in the future.
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?
The Football Manc Cave is looking at how Pep Guardiola should be lining up his Man City defence after those mistakes at Norwich.
In probably the biggest shock of the season so far, Norwich beat Man City 3-2 last week after City’s sloppy defence allowed them to lose three points.
The defence at the Etihad has been a big talking point for fans all summer, with Vincent Kompany leaving a hole and then now Laporte and Stones are both injured. Questions have risen throughout the summer and even more so now, on who would have to step up and take responsibility.
The injury blows were unexpected and it was clear that the team weren’t ready and prepared for that last weekend. However, they bounced back in the Champions League when they beat Shakhtar 3-0.
The defence that Guardiola put out should be used from now on.
Kyle Walker has taken his place in the team and earned it. That right-back position is his and he will be the starting man for Guardiola going forward. In the Champions League fixture this week, Walker started the game but was replaced later on by João Cancelo.
This is sensible as Guardiola needs his starting 11 to be fit and ready for the league games although, at least fans know that there’s back up there if needed.
Fernandinho and Otamendi should then be placed in a central defensive position. Otamendi will have to be used in this time of trouble for the Blues, but one tactical position change that the City boss made recently was to put Fernandinho in a defensive position and let him adapt to it.
He went out as captain in the Champions League fixture and the defence kept a clean sheet, which says it all. They need a voice at the back to keep them going.
Zinchenko has been starting at left-back and should continue to do so. When the Blues faced Shakhtar this week, he played the full 90 minutes and even had Benjamin Mendy on the bench in case he was needed.
Mendy did make an appearance but he replaced Rodri instead. It seems like Guardiola is starting to get things under control at the back, or at least that’s what fans hope.
Man City fans fear for their title chances after centre-back Aymeric Laporte’s injury could see him miss a lot of action this season…
But Guardiola has lucrative options available to him, which could see his side concede a low amount of goals in the current title race between himself and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.
Man City conceded only 23 goals last season, one more than Liverpool. This season, they have conceded 3 goals in 4 games, but have scored a whopping 14. Guardiola’s attack can certainly out-do every opponent that will face, even if they conceded, they will score more.
But having a solid defence is pivotal in the longevity of a Premier League season. With their number one centre-back out, these two players have to step up this season.
Kyle Walker/Joao Cancelo
Kyle Walker is no stranger to playing centre-back, and could certainly do a job for Guardiola. With Joao Cancelo as an option for a right-back, it allows Walker to move to a centre-back position without hindering other positions, as Cancelo is considered one of the best full-backs in Europe.
Walker’s defensive ability and pace will be useful when dealing with counter-attacks. But Man City’s ability to play the ball out from the back may suffer slightly, giving unnecessary opportunities for the opposition to pounce.
John Stones suffered a thigh strain in the opening day of the season, and Otamendi has been his cover, although he is rumoured to be leaving the club next year.
With a return of Stones, partnered with Otamendi, the two could partner up and replicate their 2017/18 feat of the best defensive record of any champions since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 2008-09 with only 24 goals conceded.
Should the 31-year-old have a blinding season for Guardiola, his move away could change dramatically. If Otamendi leaves the club at all, it could be a big-money signing on the back of a season where he was the saving grace.
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…
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.
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.
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.
The distance between Man City and the rest of the league only grows larger after seeing this…
To be a part of Guardiola’s Man City, you must be talented and determined. But it still comes as a surprise that the once underdogs of the league have a B team that could still best the rest.
The Telegraph reported that Mourinho told Sky Sports: “Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Man City B team. When I looked at the bench [against West Ham], the players not involved, I think the [City] B team could fight for the title.”
It is evident that Man City and Liverpool are the only teams who can fight for the title this season. Perhaps Spurs could sneak in there, but even as the third-best team in the league, they are a longshot from the top.
This leaves Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd lost below 3rd place in the Premier League. Meaning that Man City’s B team beats all three of these English giants hands-down.
The Football Manc Cave bring you Man City’s B team that could challenge for the Premier League title this season…
Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are interchangeable at number nine. However, with the Argentine reaching 34 years of age, Guardiola appears to be making room for the 22-year-old Brazilian. This leaves one of the Premier League’s greatest ever strikers to come on off the bench. Sane has been favoured less than Sterling and Bernardo Silva and has suffered a crucial injury that puts him out for half the season. Whilst this talented winger has what it takes to start, he is definitely in Pep’s B side.
In net is Bravo, who is a trusted second keeper behind Ederson, given faith to pull through in the Community Shield victory against Liverpool.
Otamendi and Mangala are favoured much less than Stones and Laporte. But this partnership has defensive experience and physicality, competent enough to see a side to many victories.
Right-back would be Kyle Walker, who has proven his quality time and time again for Man City. However, the incoming Joao Cancelo is likely to take the Englishman place. This gives Guardiola a B team right-back who is already proven as a champion.
Left-back could be Man City’s weakness in Angelino. But the promising youngster surrounded by sheer talent and quality could see his ability and confidence grow, as his team pull him throughout the stretch of the season.
Man City start their Premier League campaign at West Ham this weekend and the Football Man Cave is taking a closer look at their defence.
Following Vincent Kompany’s departure from the club at the end of last season, Man City fans have been wondering who will fill that space and how exactly their defence would line up throughout the season.
Pep Guardiola has had the chance to see a range of different players over the pre-season period, and it’s given everyone a clearer picture of how the squad might line up. We have picked out who we think might line up against West Ham…
He was always going to be a part of the team, however, the clearance he made off the line against Liverpool in the Community Shield was something that has proven to fans, management and the club why he’s in the squad. The defender will be ready and raring to go this weekend after his performance last weekend and the reaction he received.
Proving that they can work well together, Stones and Walker will be the first two defenders in mind when it comes to Saturday. He’s known to make mistakes and has had a bad reception from England fans in the past. However, his league game is always better and he proves exactly why he should be in the City squad.
This week, the Daily Mail reported how the midfielder has been in talks with Pep Guardiola over filling Vincent Kompany’s position at the back. Now that the squad is full of fresh midfielders such as Rodri, it has become harder for Fernandinho to be picked in his known position. However, Guardiola has had a plan of action again and that’s to get the versatile player to drop into a centre back position.
It’s probably risky to start him on Saturday although it would be a good chance to see him in action and if things aren’t working, he can be replaced by one of the other experienced defenders that Guardiola has coached.
Relied on a lot in pre-season and for Man City over the past year, he is looking to be a great asset to the growing City team. The 22-year-old started against Liverpool at the weekend and should be given another chance to shine at West Ham.
The Manchester Evening News has reported how Fernandinho has been in talks with Pep Guardiola about filling the centre back position. The Football Manc Cave is taking a look to see if he’s the Kompany replacement Man City need.
Fernandinho featured in the centre back position a few times for Man City last year. This was probably so that Guardiola could start to see which of his players could step up to fill Vincent Kompany’s position. I don’t think anyone at this stage is claiming that the 34-year-old will completely replace Kompany and get that same level of respect he had, however, he could certainly help at the back.
He’s known as a defensive midfielder and Pep Guardiola is known for exploring players qualities. It’s been a struggle for Man City to find anyone who could live up to Vincent Kompany’s level this summer. With the only real connection being Harry Maguire who was too expensive, and in my opinion, would have filled that hole to Guardiola’s standard.
There’s also been increased competition for a spot in the middle since the signing of Rodri and this puts Fernandinho further down the pecking order to be picked in that position. This is why it makes sense for the defensive midfielder to drop back and try his luck in a centre back position.
He will obviously need to train a lot more to make sure he’s ready for the league but it is a good plan of action. Fernandinho has said himself that being an option in multiple positions makes it easier for the manager whether it be to fill in for an injury or drop back into a different position permanently.
Pep Guardiola must be doing something right, as Man City managed to win the Community Shield at the weekend and Kyle Walker’s clearance off the line was brilliant. Whatever the defence is doing in training is working and it can only get better with Fernandinho in the mix.