“I don’t feel we played badly, we created chances and we controlled the game,” said Pep Guardiola post Manchester City’s Champions League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Yes, perhaps the Premier League leaders did have 59% possession of the ball but with 10 shots at goal and just two on target, Tuesday night’s performance is just the latest that shows Manchester City aren’t just as clinical as they shown previously. Guardiola’s side have scored 23 fewer league goals this season and with just six Premier League games remaining, it’s unlikely they’ll beat last season’s EPL tally of 106. Continue reading
Pep Guardiola has been critical of his Manchester City players stating they need to remain professional should they be dropped. Although no problems yet, the Spaniard’s comments suggest that changes could be made ahead of their Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night while those who don’t make the starting XI must remain focussed. Continue reading
The 10th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Liverpool face Cardiff, Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace and Tottenham host Manchester City. Let’s take a look at some of the players who you should consider adding to your EPL Fantasy team before the weekend.
GK – Alisson (Liverpool)
With six clean sheets from nine matches, Alisson’s points total of 42 has only been bettered this season by Manchester City’s Ederson. The Liverpool goalkeeper, valued at 10.00m, is likely to add to his tally against Cardiff on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola has suggested that Kevin De Bruyne is ready to feature for Manchester City against Burnley on Saturday which could prove influential in City’s title race. With just 30 minutes of Premier League football this season, the Belgium international couldn’t return at a better time with the Manchester club sitting joint first alongside Chelsea and Liverpool.
Just like 2016, his knee ligament injury has kept him out for 66 days and even though he’s been training the past two weeks, Guardiola is unsure as to whether De Bruyne will be able to last 90 minutes but one thing is for sure and that’s that the 27-year-old will be a welcomed returnee to Guardiola’s side given that Ilkay Gundogan has been ruled out. Continue reading
English 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.
The Premier League is considered to be the best domestic league in the world, so it’s alarming that only two players from England’s top flight have won one of football’s most prestigious individual awards since the league’s inception in 1992.
In 2001, Michael Owen was rewarded for his part in Liverpool’s five cup triumphs, plus his hat-trick in England’s 5-1 win over Germany in a 2002 World Cup qualifier, with that year’s Ballon d’Or.
The 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.
Some fans of a certain age who support Man City have certainly been through something of a rollercoaster over the last three decades! Having endured a few years of struggle during the early 1990s, the club were relegated from the Premiership in 1996, and after failing to bounce straight back were eventually relegated to Division Two (now known as League One). In that relegation, the club became only the second in history to have been European trophy winners later relegated to the third tier of their country’s football pyramid, after 1. FC Magdeburg of Germany. The period that followed was a slow climb back towards the top, but would eventually culminate in them becoming one of the richest football clubs on the planet.
While 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.
The red half of Merseyside heaved a collective sigh of relief after official confirmation trickled in about controversial winger Raheem Sterling’s much-awaited exit for £49m to Manchester City. The wonderkid had earned the love and affection of almost every Kopite with his passion and determination indicating a keen desire to lead the side on to silverware at any cost. The Jamaica-born forward was expected to spearhead the revolution at Anfield in quest of much-awaited glory with negotiations for a fresh, improved, long-term contract branded as nothing short of “needless formalities” by the masses.