Thursday, June 24, 2021

An aggressive solution for Pep Guardiola to City’s defensive problems.

Guardiola looks to find the solution as City deals with the defensive deficiency.

Premier League giants have looked vulnerable at the back this season and the international break has provided a chance to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City staff sufficient time to evaluate the club’s recent issue. City is the need for formulating a game plan that can cope with the defensive issues. Thus, putting it into action against the clash with Crystal Palace this Saturday.

City have been in a different style recently and there’s no doubt that they need to find some special formula to beat the Eagles this weekend. They have overcome such setbacks previously. Loosing it to Newcastle in February with a 2-1 score, the performance that enraged Guardiola. And give days later, they managed to beat Arsenal with 3-1. It was the first of 14 consecutive victories that carried them to the Premier League title.

Earlier this season, they again faced a defeat at Norwich which was followed by a 3-0 win in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk and then an 8-0 thrashing of Watford at the Etihad.

Coming to this season, it seems City have become vulnerable at the back, with the loss of Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte injury left them weak defensively. Guardiola has made efforts to fill the void, by making Fernandinho as a central defender from the start of the summer and regularly using Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri in the midfield to try and provide a little more protection to the vulnerable area.

But all the efforts are not really working and City have been fragile at the back much before Laporte got injured. From the beginning the Skyblue have been aggressive in the front so as to compensate for those concern at the back.

City showed its brilliance at the back in the title run and it was best displayed in a 1-0 win at Bournemouth in March when the Blues were so dominant that the attack-minded Cherries could not register a shot. Pep Guardiola side kept 10 clean sheets in those 14 successive wins, a defensive effort that was the backbone of their second successive Premier League.

Meanwhile, all the attempts so far to add more security to the defence have failed. So maybe it’s time for City to go back to the blueprint of the early season and instead focus on the side of their game that doesn’t need much fine-tuning that is the attack.

If City continues leaking the goals then they are required to go back to outscore the opposition, however many it takes.

Author’s take:

The return of John stones could help but he isn’t as dependable as Vincent was. The Return of Aymeric Laporte could give a significant boost but that is not happening until 2020. Manchester City is in need of some spell that could fix the defensive problems.


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