With the Premier League title won and the wounds from the Champions League exit raw, we assess areas City’s manager must address to improve his team
Pep Guardiola can bridle at the suggestion he does not adjust the gameplan when required and for the 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg loss at Liverpool he did, indeed, do so. The problem was that dropping Raheem Sterling for Ilkay Gündogan was such a rare move – removing a forward for an extra midfielder – that it disrupted Manchester City’s rhythm. He has admitted it may have caused his players to wonder if their ultra-positive coach was “wary” of Liverpool and affected how they performed. By 57 minutes the tactic had failed and on came Sterling for Gündogan. Yet if Guardiola did more of this kind of adjustment the team would view it as less an experiment and more the norm and the Catalan would surely become as slick with Plan B as with his Plan A.
What Pep Guardiola must do to make Manchester City even better