Pep Guardiola must give Benjamin Mendy another chance to prove himself

At the time, Manchester City’s signing of Benjamin Mendy was seen as a major upgrade. Pep Guardiola had suffered a tough first season in the Premier League and the full back areas were prime for strengthening. Mendy was seen as the left Guardiola needed.

The Frenchman had, after all, impressed as Monaco made a run to the semi finals of the Champions League. And yet a serious injury in his first season in England derailed Mendy’s Man City career before it could even get up and running properly. Almost two years has passed since then and Mendy still hasn’t found his feet at the Etihad Stadium.

Injuries have been a problem, but there were suggestions towards the end of last season that Guardiola holds concerns over Mendy’s commitment. The French full back was pictured in a nightclub in Manchester and this coincided with a period of exile from the first team. Guardiola insisted it didn’t bother him, but in a way that hinted he wasn’t being entirely candid.

“If Benjamin is fit, he will have success,” Guardiola said in a recent interview when asked to provide an update on Mendy’s injury. “He has a special quality. I am happy [with him] but I don’t want to say too much. But I am satisfied because it has been two weeks and his recovery after training has been good. He doesn’t feel any pain and that is good.

“These kinds of traumatic injuries are a bit unlucky. One after another. He couldn’t take the rhythm for a season for even half season or a long time. That is a concern but he’s now training good. The people from Barcelona are telling me that he is working incredible like an animal and hopefully he can maintain that because it is not about one day or one week it is about every day doing that.”

If Mendy is indeed on the road to recovery Guardiola should give him another chance. Man City are close to being the complete team, but they have a weakness at left back. Oleksandr Zinchenko has made great progress over the past two seasons, but he remains unpolished. City can do better.

A fully fit and firing Mendy would be better. There’s a reason Man City paid £52 million for the Frenchman in the first place and if Guardiola can unlock the potential of that player then he would address the one weakness his team has.

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Sticking with Benjamin Mendy could see Man City stagnate

Manchester City missed Benjamin Mendy last season. With the Frenchman suffering a season-ending injury early on in City’s 100-point Premier League campaign, Pep Guardiola’s side were given a weakness. Fabian Delph did an admirable job at left back, but he is, by trade, a midfielder. He was the kink in Man City’s armour, even as they strolled to the title.

Mendy has struggled with injury for a second successive season, but even when he has been fully fit, Guardiola has overlooked the Frenchman. There have been questions over Mendy’s commitment, with the left back once filmed in a nightclub just two days before a City game. Guardiola shrugs those suggestions aside, but he hasn’t always been one for masking his true emotions.

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Subsequent reports that City should look to sign a new left back this summer were therefore unsurprising. A player under Guardiola is nothing if he doesn’t have the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach’s trust and it appears Mendy, for one reason or another, has lost that.

Ben Chilwell appeared to be City’s number target to fill the troublesome left back spot, with the Leicester City full back doing enough to impress Guardiola this season. Those reports have dried up in recent weeks, though, with City now seemingly content with Oleksandr Zinchenko as their first choice left back.

Zinchenko has undoubtedly impressed at Man City. There is much to be admired about the way the Ukrainian, initially signed to be loaned out and then ultimately sold, has forced his way into the fold at the Etihad Stadium, earning Guardiola’s trust in a way Mendy has yet to. But is he really good enough to take City to the next level?

Mendy has the ability to be the player Guardiola needs at left back, but if his mindset is not right he must be moved on. A replacement must be signed this summer just like a replacement, Ederson, was quickly signed for Claudio Bravo when it became clear that the Chilean wouldn’t satisfy Guardiola.

It’s this ruthless drive that has kept Man City at the top of the English game. They cannot afford to get complacent, particularly with Liverpool improving year-on-year. Mendy should have been a central part of Guardiola’s team, but he isn’t. City must find someone to replace him rather than just make do with an inferior deputy.

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Manchester City: Planning already well underway for next season

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Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League after Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession against Bournemouth in a 1-0 victory on Saturday while Liverpool failed to beat Everton in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday afternoon.

The table makes good reading for City fans with the club now one point ahead of their title challengers, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who have spent most of the campaign top while the Citizens have an easier run in compared to their counterparts. Continue reading

EPL Best XI – Mesut Ozil stars

Mesut Ozil

Manchester City and Liverpool have 23 points after nine games of the 2018-19 Premier League season, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham trail them by just two points following another incident-filled weekend in England’s top flight. Let’s take a look at which players made our Best XI from the last three days…

GK: Jordan Pickford, Everton – seven points
Jordan Pickford has recovered from a slow start to the season to pick up 14 points in two of his last three games. He earned another seven in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace – a match in which he also saved a penalty.

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Mendy playing dangerous game as Guardiola makes his point

After Manchester City’s 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town in August, it was not an exaggeration to say that Benjamin Mendy had been the Premier League champions’ most significant player in their first two games of the new season. Having provided both assists in the 2-0 defeat of Arsenal on the opening weekend, the France international was his team’s key attacking player in their demolition of David Wagner’s charges, in effect creating three of City’s six goals even if he was only officially credited with one assist.

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Etihad Stadium’s Expansion: Worth it or Futile?

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etihad_stadium09English giants Manchester City have gone from strength to strength since 2008 when the club was acquired by billionaire Sheikh Mansoor with the constant struggle in the initial years’ largely forgotten by the supporters. The same opponents who deemed the prospect of acquiring 3 points against the Citizens as nothing short of a cakewalk earlier now shiver in fear at the prospect of battling it out against Pep Guardiola’s outfit.

This has been largely possible due to the finances pumped in at regular intervals by the owners who have ensured a regular flow of finances through thick and thin. At the same time, there have been astute investments at play as well especially in the transfer market. Manchester City opted to invest in quality acquisitions like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany during a stage when clubs were increasingly orthodox when it came to pulling off transfer deals with the benefits increasingly evident currently.

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Ederson- Effective Addition at Optimum Price?

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man-city-makes-brazil-s-ederson-moraes-the-world-s-most-expensive-goalkeeper2-1496931016The Blue half of Manchester prided itself on the fact that managers from different parts of the world with different outlooks tactically and philosophically had always enjoyed their unanimous support through thick and thin.

However, that had certainly changed with newly appointed manager Pep Guardiola’s decision to ship out club legend Joe Hart who had earned the love and affection of the fans with consistent and passionate performances over the years. The same elation which had greeted the Spanish manager’s arrival from Bayern Munich could no longer be felt with a sense of fury in the hearts of the supporters who found the arrival of ex-  Barcelona goalie Claudio Bravo as replacement quite unbearable in nature.

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Leroy Sane: the Erratic Genius

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Football has emerged as an extremely lucrative career path over the years with the steady commercialisation of the game. Some of the best footballers ever- Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luka Modric hailed from poverty-stricken families before steadily rising up the ladder, enthralling the world with their brilliance. Such examples have been cited as an immense source of motivation by emerging footballers like Gabriel Jesus who confessed to drawing inspiration from superstar Ronaldinho’s meteoric growth over the years.

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John Stones: the next Kompany?

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2024703-1170x658While it is hardly a surprise these days to see defenders like Harry Maguire command reported bids worth £100million following noteworthy performances in the world cup, it was hardly the case till recently. Clubs were increasingly hesitant when expected to indulge in big-money deals for defenders who did not enjoy a proven track record with a largely orthodox approach at play.

At the same time, they were more than happy to invest a lion’s share of their finances behind attacking recruits who were considered safe investments in comparison. The underlying belief rested on the misconception that the acquisition of quality attackers had the ability to determine the overall fortunes in the long run, considering their commercial value with the defensive department deemed expendable in nature.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 5

Alexandre Lacazette

Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso are among the high-scorers for EPL Fantasy managers so far this season, but there are plenty of other players across the league who could be worthy of inclusion in your team this weekend.

GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s big-money summer signing has picked up 12 points so far this season – Liverpool’s Alisson is the only goalkeeper with more – and he will surely add to that tally in the upcoming matches against low-scoring Cardiff and West Ham.

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