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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:07 am 
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dont know to what extent this is true, but according to a RT by Pilib De Brun, Aguero has had a massive fall out with Pep and has expressed his intention to leave the club

:ohmy:

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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:23 pm 
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I know a club that would take him :wub:

I think I read somewhere that the club wanted him to pull out of internationals to rest a small injury he's been carrying and he told them no he went off to play for Argentina and it was worse than when he went away but the South Americans always go back for internationals probably because it's a good chance to go home and see family. Always had a theory with them that they play for the clubs for the money and the national side for the love which is why most of them are so mercenary when it comes to moving for money which is fair enough imo.

They did say last night that he was left out for tactical reasons and I have seen stuff saying that Guardiola has been working him hard making him press more as Aguero doesn't really like doing it maybe similar to Sturridge at Liverpool for that press to work you need a guy who leads from the front with it.

I'd love it if he left City and f*cked off back to Spain that guy has ruined watching the derby for me as I just sit there waiting for him to score.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:55 pm 
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I assume the reason Barca/Madrid haven't come calling is due to his injury record. Can't think of any other reason, top quality player. Would be a boost for their rivals if he left.

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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Always been amazed he's stayed at City as long as he has, must be the money surely.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:23 pm 
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Serbinator wrote:
I assume the reason Barca/Madrid haven't come calling is due to his injury record. Can't think of any other reason, top quality player. Would be a boost for their rivals if he left.


Barca ~ Don't really need him they have better but I'd say the injuries and probably the reason they went for Suarez over him when they wanted a new striker as imo Aguero is the better player plus he's really good mates with Messi. The whole Aguero not liking to press from the front thing might also be a bit of a factor.

Real Madrid ~ The Atletico Madrid link maybe played a part in him not going there in the first place but again until recently they haven't needed to spend big on a striker they have Benzema and I know Ronaldo is a big fan of his so moving him out for Aguero would be tough.

Atletico Madrid ~ Could they get the cash together to bring him back? Not sure he'd really suit that Simeone style though.

PSG ~ They'd go big for him but would Abu Dhabi sell to Qatar? I don't have the political knowledge to understand how the f*ck that one would work.

Juventus ~ Spunked there wad on Higauin so that's a no go.

Bayern ~ Probably can't afford him and don't really need him.

Prem Clubs ~ Obviously City won't sell here.

Basically Pep so far has burned his bridges with Hart & Yaya without to many issues with fans I don't think he's that keen on Kompany & Zabaletta either who are other fan favourites but moving Aguero out would be huge my guess is they'll kiss and make up but Guardiola is very strong with this stuff regardless of who you are if you don't sign up to his methods you're out.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:56 pm 
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Pep Guardiola kept Manchester City’s players in the dressing room for 50 minutes after their 1-1 draw with Southampton and has said he will fight to discover the reason why his side have gone five matches without a win.

City are top of the Premier League but have not won since late September. On Sunday John Stones presented Nathan Redmond with a goal before the half-hour and they could score only once in reply through Kelechi Iheanacho.

It is the first time Guardiola has gone five matches without a win since he was manager of Barcelona in 2009. The City manager refused to blame individual errors for his team’s bad run, despite there having been a number of blunders in recent games.

Asked why his post-match debrief in the dressing room had taken so long, Guardiola joked: “The red wine was good today and I took a little bit longer with my glasses. No, we’re together, we speak, nothing special.

“We spoke about the situation we have and from this situation try to go up. I was a player and know this can happen. We didn’t create too much but in the second half we were there as a team.

“Now we are going to accept the situation. This five games without winning is because something happened. We have to accept that we start from a little bit lower to go up. That is the situation right now.

“Sometimes you are able to win 10 times in a row and after not to win five times. That is part of football. We have to accept that. I have to discover the reason why and I’m going to fight for that.”

Of his side’s individual errors Guardiola said: “There is something more, something about the team, how you rebel and react in the situations. I have to help them achieve what we had in the second half.”

City played three at the back after their 4-0 defeat by Barcelona in midweek, having previously drawn against Everton and Celtic and lost to Tottenham, after those 10 straight wins at the start of the season.

Redmond, who has been in fine form for Southampton, said he had expected scoring opportunities. He said: “We can take a positive from it, come away with a point. With our mentality we wanted all three points.

“Even though we drew, we are frustrated to take a point but we keep moving. From watching them in preparation we knew they would give us chances – they only play three at the back. I was anticipating it and it was just about keeping a cool head and putting the chance away.”

City’s next game is against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, before an away match at West Bromwich Albion and Barcelona at home.


Still looks to me like they're learning the system


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:59 pm 
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So does Mourinho ..

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So true mate ...he is consistently inconsistent throughout his united career ..but what if he turns consistent ..he will get around 40 goals...ATM im waiting for that time as his age is 24/25 :wait: ... :|
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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:16 pm 
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Yeah both clubs spent lots of money this summer but look to be missing key players for their managers system.

Jose lacks dominant CBs and a mobile striker who can cope with a direct style and Pep needs full backs and a deep lying playmaker for his midfield.

They still look closer than we do to getting it right as they've been signing Pep style players for 2-3 summers now whereas we've changed style 3 times with 3 managers in 4 seasons


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Pep Guardiola admits it feels strange to suffer the worst ever run of results in his managerial career.

Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday represented the sixth consecutive game Guardiola’s side have failed to win, dating back to a 3-3 draw with Celtic in the Champions League.

The Spaniard had previously gone five games without a win during his time at Barcelona, but this now represents the worst run of his eight years in coaching.

Our 16 Conclusions dedicated some thoughts to Guardiola’s current struggles, and the manager admitted that the club’s form was “strange”.

“It is strange that it should happen now, after seven years as a manager, but we are going to change things as soon as possible,” he said.

“My approach will remain the same as it was when we were winning 10 matches in a row, I don’t intend changing anything, but we need to improve our results and we will.

“Every match is different. We have to analyse every match, every bad result.

“Every team has runs of good and bad results.”


Think it's a combination of players not fully understanding his system and teams working it out a bit.

Always felt his football is a bit to planned similar to LVG and in the Premier League you just have chaos


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:24 am 
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A certain Mr Messi and iniesta is needes to give this system whole new dimension ... He may have won league in bundesliga but here team defends deep ..

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So true mate ...he is consistently inconsistent throughout his united career ..but what if he turns consistent ..he will get around 40 goals...ATM im waiting for that time as his age is 24/25 :wait: ... :|
on Rooney ,Jan 16th, ..and as they rest is history


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:19 am 
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I think it's actually more that they can't handle being put under pressure the midfielders can't play when put under pressure whereas you put pressure on Barca or Bayern midfielders and they just turn away from you or pop off a quick pass. I don't think the midfielders have quite worked out how to support the defence when playing out under Pep a player should always have 3 passing options when he receives the ball that's how the system works and currently when the ball goes out from Bravo to often those passing options aren't there. The lack of coaching time with the players probably makes it harder for him to really go through this in the detail he wants and at City you have a squad who under Pellegrini were probably under coached as he strikes me as a fairly hands off style whereas Guardiola is non stop 24/7.

What was noticeable against Utd was they didn't really play from the back Kompany doesn't look comfortable with it and with Fernando in midfield they don't really have a playmaker so they seemed happy to go more direct.

The main differences I really see is currently City don't have the quality of player to play this football yet they need better players at full back and in central midfield to be able to play this.

I also think the variety of play you get in the prem might be catching him out we have a variety of styles due to the foreign influence in the league that means you can't always have a one size fits all policy when it comes to how you play. The managers who've done well in England have realised that those who've been stubborn Wenger & LVG have been found out in the case of LVG he just couldn't understand why his method that worked for decades no longer worked.

I think he'll get it right eventually he's strong with his idea and the club will back him and like Klopp's Liverpool it might take a little time before it all clicks whereas Utd still sem to be unsure of what they want to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:08 pm 
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Here’s a riff you’ll regularly hear trotted out about a new manager:

“Does he know the league?”

In these circumstances ‘he’ is always a foreigner, but who knows what ‘know’ actually means? A favourite purveyor of this odd notion is Paul Merson. I’m mildly obsessed with the Magic Man. The way his eyes seem permanently distract by ghosts, the way he repeats words in the same way a scratch on a record repeats a groove, the way that he finds any of his colleagues making, even a small mistake, almost unbearably hilarious. It’s certainly nearer performance art than punditry.

But the ‘know the league’ thing is crazy. He said it about Bob Bradley, a man who has been working in football management since before Merse signed his first professional contract. The idea he would turn up and say, “so what’s a Burnley when it’s at home, guys?” And of course when he did arrive, he’d done some work and was well-versed in British football. If he isn’t a success, it won’t be through lack of knowledge of the Premier League.

I see this as part of a common thread in English football, where there is a suspicion of, and a desire for, a new manager to fail, especially a vaunted new manager, especially a vaunted new foreign manager. While Sean Dyche may be paranoid that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves and that overseas managers are fawned over by fans and media, I can assure him that had he won 21 trophies in seven years and sat top of the league, no-one would be calling him a fraud. No-one would be saying he’d been found out.

But that is the case with the current manager of Manchester City. It was even suggested this week that perhaps he’s been surprised by the competitive nature of the Premier League, which is just another way of asking “does he know the league?”.

There’s nothing some in English football media love more than a failing foreign manager. The joy at Remi Garde’s failure, for example, was unconfined. It fuelled the slightly xenophobic elements to pump up their patriotic paranoia.

David Moyes could manage Sunderland down the leagues until they came to rest in the Northern Counties East Football League and nobody would call him a fraud. No-one would say he didn’t know the league.

But try being a Spaniard in the Premier League and within a couple of months that’s what you’ll be called if you dare to not win all your games. The critique of Fraudiola is partly born out of the modern cultural trend which believes that everything that is not perfect must therefore be rubbish. And that divides existence into heroes or zeros, without room for nuance – a culture entrenched by social media.

There is, in some quarters, an almost bristling hostility to him, as though counterbalancing the intensive brown-nosing others deploy. There was much talk about how he’d be exposed as not-as-good-as-he-thinks-he-is at Manchester City. That this league is no cakewalk (unlike them leagues what we never watch much, Jeff) and City are the worst of the three sides he’s managed. And anyway, he keeps getting beaten by Spanish sides in the Champions League. See? Overrated and now over here.

There is suspicion of him from people who find him precious, weird and a slightly underweight man with sparrow’s legs and a horrible habit of wearing a jumper under a jacket, which is a fashion faux pas, albeit one which almost every manager has copied, right down to the Vanarama League.

All this business about not eating before a game makes him appear to be a self-regarding footballing monk who probably drinks his own p*ss and reads the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Well you can’t just turn off your mind and float downstream at the Hawthorns, in this league, pal. How well do you know the league, anyway?

Running underneath the grumbling is a feeling that he only won those 21 trophies because he was managing the best sides in Europe. Anyone could do that. Anyone can make the fastest car on the grid go fastest, just by putting pedal to the metal. Easy. I could do that.

Obviously, this is partly due to the sulphurous strand of xenophobia innate in British culture, and especially in the best-selling British press. If you think the idea of receiving poor, bereft and war-torn children with loving, open arms and making sure they’re safe and secure is a bad idea, then a spindle-legged adult Spainer has no chance.

For those who like the football culture which has always gloried in the alpha male dressing-room banter of the raised buttock and loud fart in the face of the most sensitive boy, Guardiola is hard to stomach. To those eyes he looks like a bit of a w*nker who takes it all too seriously. There’s no roister, let alone any doisiter about Guardiola. He probably smells of garlic even if he hasn’t eaten a pizza. Weirdo.

The trouble for Guardiola is that even if he wins everything, he’ll still be a fraud in some people’s eyes because he’s only managed the biggest, richest, best clubs. Like as though that is any easy thing in itself, at a time when Jose Mourinho is doing a good job of proving it is not.

Maybe it’s part of the ‘being tired of expert’s thing. Maybe people who are brilliant are now to be hated and not having a perfect record does make you a fraud.

Perhaps the resentment and desire for failure is born out of the fact that so many worshipped at the Pep altar. There was an understandable cringing at the fanboy culture which surrounded Barcelona. And the fact that for a few years it seemed that too many believed that if you didn’t play the Barcelona way you were a dunderheed, a dinosaur (hello, Sean), a relic, a hopeless conservative. But those of us who know that everything is a phase, like Mr Natural (look him up) on a good session, just sat back and waited for it to pass, and pass it did.

The intense hailing of the originality of Guardiola’s methods may well be open to question. As David Pleat said this weekend, Liverpool of the late 50s and 60s employed goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence (a massive slab of solid beef) as a sweeper and Graeme Souness talked about how high pressing was part of Italian football when he played there. The idea that you one style of play is superior to all others, in all circumstances, with all teams, and must be copied at all costs, was silly. There is no right way to play football, except the one that works for you.

This weekend Jeff Stelling posited the idea that City’s owners might be a bit disappointed in their new appointment because of recent results. This was too ridiculous even for Merse, but it is entirely consistent with this low-level hum of disapproval or sneering at Guardiola, despite the fact that he is an absolutely fascinating character and one who is intent on doing it his way, whether you like it or you don’t.

And the idea that he’s some sort of oversold con job is as ridiculous as wondering if he really knows the league.


Short of winning every game 5-0 he was never going to be able to live up to the expectations people had of him.

He's got expensive new signings most of which seem to be settling in nicely Stones, Gundogan, Nolitto are first team regulars Sane who was more of a buy for the future is getting some playing time, the keeper is struggling a bit but is more settled now than the first few weeks.

Also, 10 games in he's top of the league on goal difference and his team are the joint top scorers in the league and it's clear he's already stamped his identity on the team they are playing Guardiola football and winning matches almost straight away.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:53 am 
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Yaya Toure could yet feature again for Manchester City after demanding that his agent apologise to Pep Guardiola.

Toure has played just once since Guardiola was appointed City manager, with his sole appearance coming in a Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest in August.

Guardiola made it clear that the Ivorian would not be considered for selection until his agent, Dimitri Seluk, apologised for comments he made in the media.

Seluk, who has endured a difficult relationship with the former Barcelona boss, has publicly criticised the Spaniard numerous times.

However, the agent has revealed that Toure has demanded he apologise to Guardiola.

“I have spoken to Yaya in the last few days and he has asked me to make the peace with Pep,” Seluk told the Daily Mirror.

“I agreed with him that I had to do what I could to make the situation better, because Yaya and Manchester City have been caught in the crossfire.

“I don’t think that Pep will ever love me, but the most important thing is that we try to forgive what has happened in the past and develop a new relationship.

“This is a genuine gesture. I hope Pep accepts that my hope is that we can start with a clean page.’

“Of course, I hope Pep takes the decision to bring Yaya back into his squad. But even if he doesn’t, I can assure him that I am not going to speak about him any more in the media.

“I have sent this message because Pep hasn’t returned my calls.”


Come on Dimitri say it like you mean it.

Pep should make him do it at Half Time on the pitch for the next home game then never play Yaya Toure anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:15 pm 
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Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says you just need to look at the facilities at the Premier League outfit to realise they are among the biggest clubs in the world.

Gundogan has hit form since returning from injury and he told Germany’s Kicker magazine how his move to City in the summer was easy, once he saw where he would be working.

“When I drive into our training centre here and see all of this, then it’s extremely impressive,” he said.

“Not even Bayern can compare to this, this is in a different league.

“You realise that you have arrived at one of the biggest clubs in the world who have big ambition and would like to develop something big over the coming years.

“The pressure and responsibility for the individual players is accordingly big and it’s certainly different to in Dortmund.”

Gundogan admits the pressures of life at City are much higher than they were at Dortmund, since he is at a club who expect to be challenging for trophies every season rather than one expecting to finish behind Bayern.

Furthermore, the arrival of Pep Guardiola in the summer has only strengthened that desire to clinch silverware next summer.

“They make it quite clear that they crave the very best here,” Gundogan said. “The expectation levels are extremely high due to the transfers and above all due to Pep.

“He is simply success personified.”

He is also bringing the best out of Gundogan, who has scored five goals in 10 games, although he says it is his more advanced position which is contributing to him scoring more regularly.

“I know that I have Fernandinho, a defensive midfielder, behind me and that he is always covering my back,” said the 26-year-old. “That is why I am playing more attacking and getting close to the penalty area more frequently.

“At Dortmund, I was more the defensive cover.”

Gundogan scored only six goals in 73 appearances for Dortmund from a more defensive role and admits he may now be given the chance to play further up the field for Germany, alongside the likes of Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller.

“It’s possible,” he said. “That would make us extremely variable.”

Gundogan reports for international duty on Tuesday with Germany facing San Marino in a World Cup qualifier on Friday night before travelling to Italy for an international friendly four days later.

Gundogan has also sung the praises of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp – although he hopes to prevent his former Dortmund boss being as successful in England as he was in Germany.

Speaking at the presentation of a new Germany kit in Dusseldorf on Monday, Gundogan said in quotes reported by sport1.de: “He’s doing an extremely good job. We all know what an excellent manager he is and how successful he can be.

“He’s fantastic and a great personality.”

Gundogan’s City trail the Reds by two points after 11 games of the season, but the 2012 Bundesliga winner still hopes to come out on top in May.

“Jurgen’s doing an extremely good job and he also has the advantage of not being in Europe, meaning he gets a few extra days preparation time,” Gundogan said.

“But I hope we manage to ensure Jurgen is not so successful.”


He's really hit the ground running if he's fully over those injuries that have dogged him for the last 3 seasons they've made a hell of a signing


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:57 pm 
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John Stones has “got to be tougher and stronger”, according to tough, strong man Roy Keane.

Stones featured for Manchester City in their 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday, with a point securing City’s place in the Champions League knockout stages.

But the summer signing was partly at fault for the concession of the opener in Germany.

Stones was pressured and dispossessed by Lars Stindl in the first half, with his centre converted by Raffael.

City eventually levelled through David Silva, but Keane was unhappy with the 22-year-old’s efforts.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” he told ITV Sport. “He’s got to be stronger. He’s got to be tougher. It’s just too easy.

“It’s like a child getting knocked off the ball. Really poor defending.

“He’s got to be stronger.

“He’s a good player but he’s just got to be tougher and stronger.”


He's sort of made a rod for his own back by making the big money move he did but he is 22 years old so he's still developing physically and learning the game so sometimes I wonder if the criticism is over the top.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:32 pm 
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There is no perfect recipe to becoming one of English football’s Bright Young Things, but certain ingredients definitely help. Starting at a club outside of the elite is good; Barnsley, for instance. Playing in a position in which the national team is lacking for options is good; centre-back, for instance. Playing in a style that is widely considered to be continental is good; a ball-playing centre-back, for instance. Moving to an elite club for a huge fee is good; the second most expensive defender in the history of the game at £47m, for instance.

And so to John Stones. The John Stones who Howard Kendall said reminded him of Franz Beckenbauer. The John Stones who Independent writer Tim Rich said looked like a young Bobby Moore. The John Stones who has been labelled as ‘England’s future’ by various writers and ex-professionals. There is no doubt that Stones is a Bright Young Thing.

None of this is done with anything other than good intention. It is an attempt at self-prophecy. Say or write that Stones will be great enough times and you might just make it so. Roy Hodgson did not pick three central defenders in his Euro 2016 squad by design, but through lack of options. England’s chronic shortage of international class young central defenders means Gareth Southgate (and whoever follows him) needs Stones to come good. Talk up the supply and hope to match the huge demand.

The problem with that is that people were already labelling Stones as great before he’d even mastered good. This was a defender dropped by Roberto Martinez last season, individual mistakes and over-playing the ball regularly costing Everton. Stones might be reminiscent of Beckenbauer, but by the age of 20 he had already played in a World Cup final and been named in the team of the tournament. Before his move to Manchester City at 22, Stones had made just three competitive starts for England.

“I’d love to create this image of me doing what Rio did but I also want to be known as a great defender who can keep clean sheets,” said Stones in June 2015. “As a defender you want to keep the ball out of the net first and foremost. If that means doing it ‘ugly’, that’s what it has to take.”

It’s a fine intention, but the 18 months since then has seen no obvious improvement in that area. He is still making the same mistakes that can be forgiven but not forgotten, but there has been no discernible improvement on his Everton form.

In July, I wrote this piece on Stones, in which I covered just how much scrutiny he was likely to come under at Manchester City. ‘While Guardiola was able to bed his central defenders in dominant teams in Spain and Germany, he will not get that opportunity in England,’ it said. ‘Bayern Munich had 66.4% possession and made an average of 723 passes per game in the Bundesliga last season, but City’s average was 55.2% and 539 passes. Stones will face far more scrutiny and pressure on the ball than Guardiola’s central defenders at Pep’s previous two clubs.’

And so it has proved. For all the goodwill behind Stones, there is no doubt that he is struggling in Manchester. The predictions of grandeur look closer to delusions, the demands that he must be in England’s starting XI whatever the weather have quietened. After Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala, Matija Nastasic and Stefan Savic, City’s latest expensive central defensive purchase is suffering just as much as the previous four.

In Stones’ defence, Guardiola’s tactics and team selection have not made it easy, a three-man central defence regularly featuring at least one natural full-back or central midfielder who then struggles with positional discipline. Injuries to Vincent Kompany and suspension to Nicolas Otamendi have caused their own headaches. Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna have started a combined nine league games in central defence, and that’s hard for a young central defender at a new club to cope with.

Yet tactics can only be blamed to a point. They cannot be blamed for poor marking at set-pieces, or getting caught in possession when trying to stride forward. They cannot be blamed for weak backpasses that allow Jamie Vardy to score his hat-trick goal, either. For all the blame given to Guardiola for insisting his defenders and goalkeepers play it short, this was supposed to be where Stones would display his strengths. Against Leicester, Stones hit a nadir.

There is plenty of time for Guardiola and Stones to improve enough to make talk of crisis look previous; one is in his first season in a new league and the other is 22. Yet that does not change what has been a testing first five months in Manchester. The heralded new grandmaster of English ball-playing defenders still has plenty of lessons to learn.

Daniel Storey


The way Stones has been chucked it probably explains why Fergie tried to bed his young CB's in much more slowly Jones, Evans, Smalling and briefly Pique while he was with us all came in and out of the side often playing at full back as they developed.

This kid was struggling to get in a pretty poor Everton side last year and somehow City have ended up spending £50m on a kid who based on the evidence of his career so far struggles with defending one vs one, gets caught out of position a lot, plays himself into trouble a lot by attempting to dribble or pass out taking his risk chances.

He really needs taking out of the firing line at City but they're so bad at the back he has to keep playing those tactics vs that Leicester side were suicidal you can't give Vardy that much space to run into and you can't leave Mahrez unmarked in the way they did by not playing full backs.

To me as it stands Stones look more like a holding midfielder than a CB and he might actually benefit from moving forward and having that protection behind him


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:15 pm 
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COMMENT: Pleeeaase, don't blame the players, Pepitas. That is, don't blame the quality Pep Guardiola had available for the trip to Leicester City.

Yeah, the Manchester City manager is getting it in the neck today, especially from the ex-players' brigade. But there's still the rider offered - that City's players just aren't good enough, both technically and cerebrally. They can't comprehend Yoda's fourth dimensional tactics. They're too thick to understand the genius of Pep.

C'mon. The same lot pedaling this nonsense were telling us all how amaaazzing it was that City's players had responded almost instantly to Guardiola's tactics as they shot clear at the top of the table. In John Stones, we were witnessing the emergence of the greatest English defender since Bobby Moore. Claudio Bravo would revolutionise goalkeeping in the country - and across the world - with his passing game. And Aleksander Kolarov was so good at centre-half, he looked like Beckenbauer in his pomp. Even Guardiola was at it, claiming he feared losing the Serb to Barcelona in January because he was playing so well.

So the idea that it was all a mirage, that this group of players simply aren't good enough, just doesn't wash. The plain truth is... Pep Guardiola has been found out.

He of the false 9. Of tiki-taka. The ball-playing keeper. Of no... TACKLES. He's been rumbled. You can do it at Barcelona, when you're midfield carries the names of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. You can do it at Bayern Munich, where every choice is supported by the cash power of Audi and adidas. But England? The Premier League? Na. This is no two team competition. Every week brings a new challenge. A different test. And after that opening salvo, opposition managers have now had the chance to break down Guardiola's game. And he's struggling to respond.

It took Jose Mourinho all of 45 minutes to show his peers how Guardiola could be undone. His Manchester United were played off the park for that first-half. The greatest performance in Premier League history, so the Pepitas claimed. It was like they'd left the ground at halftime, because Mourinho had City pegged for the remainder of the game. Bravo was targeted. As was the back three. Greater pressure on the ball. A higher press. And City were wobbling.

Fast-forward to Saturday and hat-trick hero Jamie Vardy crystallised the plans being discussed inside the offices of every manager in the country.

"We'd been watching videos and they like to use the keeper. Their keeper is a ball player so once you've got them in the corner you have to press the keeper slightly and luckily the ball came across and he wasn't ready for it," said Vardy.

"I think they've obviously got their set way of playing and how their manager wants them to play."

Unlike the LaLiga and Bundesliga, teams won't sit off Guardiola's keeper and back three, giving them all the time they wish to construct their next attack. It's helter-skelter. Dog-eat-dog. Leicester mugged City through poor individual errors. Chelsea turned them over by sheer brute force. Either way, they were games - experiences - Guardiola has never before confronted. The intensity. The physicality. A rain swept King Power was just the trip to see if Pep's ways could really withstand English football at it's most raw. And the champions gave us the answer.

If there's one symbol of the embryonic Guardiola era, it has to be Bravo. The manager arrived at City inheriting England's No1. He knew all about Joe Hart. He'd seen him in the flesh produce perhaps a career-best performance at the Nou Camp. Hart was in his prime. A legend with the club. A man, with captain Vincent Kompany still stuck in the medical room, the new manager could use to drive home his methods. Yet, he wasn't having him. Guardiola wanted Bravo. An inferior keeper to what he'd inherited. But who passed the ball better. A keeper who's physique simply had him ill-equipped for Premier League demands. But he could he pass the ball. A keeper who'd lost his first-choice status at Barca to Marc-Andre ter Stegen. But he passed the ball...

Peter Schmeichel, clearly irked, branded Guardiola a "very arrogant man" in the aftermath of the Leicester defeat. You can understand the Great Dane's frustration. Premier League titles are won with great goalkeepers. Unlike anyother competition in the world, the goalkeeper in England can be a match winner. Bravo has offered no evidence that he's worth any sort of points tally over a season - unless that's in the 'against' column. Given Premier League history, on current form, City will never win the title with Claudio Bravo between the posts.

For Guardiola, this is the greatest challenge of his career. Given the Premier League's global profile, his reputation and place in the game's history will be forged as City manager. There's no Messi to lean on (well, not at the moment) and no chequebook big enough to dismantle his nearest rivals, as Bayern have done to Borussia Dortmund.

This is the defining stage in his career. We'll now discover if there's more to Pep Guardiola than Spanish hype.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:31 pm 
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Could we not say that this is a City side that had been going backwards in the last 2 seasons before he took over? They won the title then finished 2nd the season after (miles behind Chelsea) and 4th last season and were very lucky not to finish 5th after Utd blew their chance in the last few weeks of the season by losing at West Ham. People forget how much they tanked in the 2nd half of last 2 seasons like Utd it was probably wrong to expect these great managers to come in and turn things around straight away.

Last season they went off like a shot as well think they won the first 6 games including some big wins then once the Champions League kicked in they started to wobble they then got back on track over Xmas then fell apart again towards the end of the season finishing miles off the pace. They've always been a team who struggle to maintain the intensity all the way through the season.

It's clear to me that this season Chelsea & Liverpool are benefitting from the lack of European football they are playing settled sides who have long recovery periods between games they only makes changes when there's an injury/suspension and Chelsea have had the same starting XI is something like 9 of the last 10 matches.

I think Pep possibly needs to swallow his pride and play a different way until he has players who can defend in the way he wants as currently they are just to open at the back his method will only work if you have the players to do it and currently defensively that team doesn't have the players.

The reason teams sat off his Bayern and Barca sides were they were so good that they always beat the press you put on them you could give the ball to Busquets/Iniesta with 5 men in a phonebox and they'd find a way of twisting and turning to come out with the ball City currently don't seem to have mastered these routines.

Mean this is the most respectable way possible but if City were actually a big club they'd be getting ripped apart in the press but City in crisis doesn't sell the same quantity of papers as Utd/Liverpool/Arsenal in crisis.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:07 pm 
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Quote:
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has pleaded guilty to drink-driving, but says he had not "intentionally consumed alcohol".

The Ivory Coast player, 33, told a court he thought he was drinking diet cola from a jug at a party, without realising it had brandy in it.

Toure did not challenge the charge as he was "above the permitted limit".

He was fined £54,000 - a means-tested fine - and banned from driving for 18 months by Barkingside magistrates.

"It is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink, said Toure. "I have always refused alcohol."

Toure was driving in Dagenham in east London at the time of the offence last month.

Barkingside Magistrates Court said Toure had an alcohol reading of 75 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath - more than twice England's legal limit of 35 micrograms.

He pleaded guilty to the charge on Monday, but did not say in his Facebook statement how the alcohol got into his system.

In his statement Toure added: "Drink-driving is a serious crime and even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologise for this situation."

The Ivory Coast international was recalled to the Manchester City squad earlier this month after apologising for "misunderstandings" relating to comments made by his agent Dimitri Seluk.


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 Post subject: Re: Manchester City Thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:53 pm 
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Gundogan has done his knee again no return date given yet but Guardiola has confirmed its months not weeks poor guy has had horrible luck but City knew the risk when they signed him

Will this force City into the market in January as he's an important player for them and they don't really have a natural replacement for him


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