Cityzens placed their Midfielder star in a more deeper position.
Pep Guardiola loves a tease over his team selection, and the 9-0 lead over Burton Albion in the Carabao cup allowed him free rein. The midfield star was asked to play much deeper than normal in the Carabao Cup win at Burton Albion
As journalists tried to collect information for him ahead of the second leg, he revealed unusually that Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden would play and that Benjamin Mendy would be in the squad.
And he dropped in another little dilemma when he was asked about possibly playing players out of position to test them, or to experiment.
He began “I know them quite well, I know where they can play, Most of them are going to play in their positions, maybe one but almost everyone in his position.”
That “maybe one” turned out to be De Bruyne, asked to play a deeper position, sitting in the Fernandinho role, while Phil Foden and Fabian Delph roved forward.
De Bruyne refrained from publicly complaining about that switch during the tournament, but when he was finally released from being a disciplined anchor, he responded with a match-winning display and superb goal as the Red Devils sank Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-finals.
He underlined that with a dreamy pass to open up the Burton defence, playing in Riyad Mahrez to lay the only goal on a plate for Sergio Aguero.
For now, De Bruyne remains City’s dynamic midfield star, a player who is combative and dogged without the ball and often devastating with it.
Only necessity would force Guardiola to take him out of the number eight or ten roles he plays so well playing where he does, the gaffer gets a zealous defender as well as a dangerous attacker. At Burton, Guardiola wanted to see how De Bruyne did in the role with Fernandinho as his only true defensive midfielder, the more options the manager has, the better.
When Guardiola was asked about it, he suggested that the player still needed match sharpness and might be more involved by playing deeper.
“I thought maybe Burton play 4-1-4-1 and I want to see him with a lot of touches,” said the manager. He needs to be in contact with the ball, especially the commitment. He was in a position to be aggressive, his training and his attitude, he was a long time injured and it’s not one or two days fit, he needs the minutes, he played 90 minutes and now 65 or 70. We need him, and step by step he is coming back.”
As per Kevin de Bruyne’s playing style he has often amazed everyone around with his dazzling skills. He has been renowned as a ”complete footballer” by many pundits and coaches and has always proved it. He couldn’t get a much playtime due to his Injuries but giving a comeback like this definitely reassure some good performance ahead.