Published on August 19th, 2016 | by Daniel Cheeseman0
What we’ve learned from Pep Guardiola’s first two games
First of all I’d like to start off by saying welcome back to my blogs for the new season – I really do appreciate you taking the time to read them and it gives me encouragement to carry on doing them! You might not always agree with what I have to say, but they’re just my opinions – and I’d encourage you to share yours too on Twitter @mcfcsupportersc and/or Facebook /MCFCsupportersclub! You can also catch me on my personal account @Dan_Cheeseman if you’d like!
Pep is ruthless
If Pep doesn’t think a player is good enough to play the way he wants them to, they won’t play for City any time soon, unless they improve to the required standard. We’ve already witnessed it with players such as Joe Hart and Eliaquim Mangala, with the John Stones signing and imminent arrival of Claudio Bravo. Whether Pep’s ruthlessness is a good or a bad thing is up for debate, however I personally think it’s something we’ve needed at the club for a while now as his predecessors were often ‘too nice’ which clouded their judgement at times.
There’s hope for Raheem Sterling
I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been a massive Raheem Sterling fan myself, however I’m always willing to change my opinion of someone and from what we’ve seen of him so far – Raheem looks a different player. I think there’s more to it than just playing him on the right, as I remember Manuel Pellegrini trying it a couple of times last season and it was virtually inaffective. I believe that the combination of a poor summer in the EUROS and the acquisition of Pep Guardiola has had a big impact on the 21-year old, and might have been a turning point in his career. Whether he can keep it up though is a different story, and in the end that will be the true test of whether or not he’s ultimately good enough.
Players have to be flexible
It’s obvious that Pep isn’t a fan of making players stick rigidly to a specific position, as in his eyes it’s far too predictable. We’ve seen during his time at both Bayern and Barcelona that he wants players to be able to play multiple roles over the course of the 90 minutes. He obviously loves the idea of his fullbacks becoming holding midfielders to outnumber the opposition in the middle, and two perfect examples of that system working are David Alaba and Philip Lahm. Whether or not City’s current fullbacks are good enough to fulfil those roles is still up for question, but I’m sure Pep will have a plan in the long run.
Tomorrow sees City take on Stoke, which I’m anticipating will be a much tougher game than the first two. The Potters are known for being a counter-attacking side so the Blues will have to keep their guard in order to prevent an early upset in the season.