Guardiola’s Self-Doubt: Manchester City’s Tactics and Hesitations Leading to Poor Performance

2023-12-17 01:20:00

Original title: Guardiola’s self-doubt: Manchester City may be 12 points behind after returning from the Club World Cup 2-2 Crystal Palace

On December 17, before the final whistle sounded, it was the Crystal Palace team that was attacking desperately at the Etihad Stadium. It seemed that it was the London Blue Eagles who were going to score 3 points, not the owner Manchester City.

In the end, Manchester City drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace. This result was a huge encouragement to Crystal Palace, and people can’t help but ask, what happened to the defending champion?

After three consecutive draws with powerful opponents and a 0-1 loss to Villa, Guardiola changed Manchester City’s tactics.

Manchester City has changed back to its original extreme passing control. On the one hand, it is due to the recent poor performance and the need for change. On the other hand, it is also due to the absence of Haaland and Doku that they have no choice but to change their direct offensive style of play.

The so-called direct kicking method is to send the ball to the center through quick transmission to complete a quick shot like the offense of many strong teams in Europe. Haaland can score so many goals thanks to Manchester City’s change to a direct attacking style of play.

But now Manchester City has returned to the old path before Haaland joined and started to play pass control again. Is there anything wrong with it?

Grealish received Foden’s pass and pushed the ball into the net without stopping; in the melee, youngster Lewis expanded the score advantage. If it weren’t for Henderson’s superb save, Seat B might have sealed the victory 3-0.

Crystal Palace did not give up its efforts, while Manchester City, which was leading by two goals, was somewhat complacent.

For the first time since 2018, Manchester City led by two goals at home at the Etihad Stadium but failed to win the game.

The 76-year-old coach Hodgson said it well after the game, “We can’t attack Manchester City right from the start, otherwise we will be disemboweled by Manchester City. We can only hold firm first and wait for the opportunity to come.”

In the 76th minute, Mateta got a goal back; in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, Foden sent a point in the penalty area, and Olise made a free throw to equalize the score.

After switching back to the old-fashioned pass-and-control style of play, the core problem exposed by Manchester City was hesitation. When attacking, he was hesitant to make the final fatal pass and lost many scoring opportunities; when defending, he was hesitant to get into position, giving the opponent a chance to counterattack. These counterattacks were all caused by hesitation in the midfield and losing the ball. Foden should not be blamed, but he was responsible for both goals conceded.

The decline in midfield control has a lot to do with Gundogan’s departure from the team, and of course De Bruyne’s injury. Kovacic is not the ball-controlling type of Gundogan. When playing pass control, someone needs to be constantly running to respond. Without Gundogan, Rodri will have a very hard time playing in the midfielder.

There are also problems with Guardiola’s on-the-spot command. After leading 2-0, around 60 minutes, he should have made personnel adjustments to some positions, but Guardiola still insisted on the principle of not changing if he could. 2-2 Stones replaced Lewis, Manchester City’s only substitution. , which is meaningless.

Of course, Crystal Palace goalkeeper Henderson also performed extremely well. Johnstone was injured, and Henderson made his first appearance in the league this season. He saved the shots of Alvarez, Gvardiol, and Seat B. It can be said that he took the greatest credit.

Manchester City’s luck is actually quite good. At the end of the first half, Ederson committed a foul. Tierney just wanted to be polite to the wealthy team. If it were a mid-range team goalkeeper who did this, he would have been fined long ago.

After 17 rounds of league games, Manchester City only scored 34 points. This is the fewest points at this stage of the Premier League since Guardiola came to Manchester City, and it is also the lowest position in the standings. They finally won the championship in the 2020-21 season, but they failed to win the championship in the 2019-20 season and the 2016-17 season.

Guardiola will surely be thinking about this question on the flight to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup. When De Bruyne, Haaland, and Doku all return from injury, will Manchester City stick to the direct offensive style of play since Haaland’s arrival, or will they return to their old ways and dawdle in hypnotic passing?

Because of the Club World Cup, the next round match between Manchester City and Brentford has been postponed. When Manchester City plays Everton, they may find that Liverpool is already 12 points ahead of them.Return to Sohu to see more

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