How Do The Rest Of The Top Six Compete With Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City? Here’s The Answer

Posted: December 19, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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Today we exclusively reveal the secret behind Pep Guardiopla’s success at Manchester City – there isn’t one!

There is an old saying which goes something like, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.

This may represent the best solution for the likes of Mourinho, Klopp, Wenger, Pochettino and Conte in their battle with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.

After all, doing what he does is not rocket science and is only baffling to the simple structures which pass as brains in Premier League managers.

When we here at WSA started watching football we used to get quite excited when the internationals were being played. Back then, of course, with a mere 42 league games per season for the top flight clubs, a break wasn’t seen as necessary so the Home Internationals were played at the end of the season.

A mini-tournament involving England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales it kept interest in football going until, after a short break, the new season would start.

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In 1966 of course, as all English are aware, the World Cup was won and football, as we knew it, went backwards for years. Ramsey’s wingless wonders represented the way the game had to be played, particularly in England, and boring became the order of the day.

Fortunately, for the game in general, not everybody agreed with Ramsey’s methods and Brazil set out, as they had done in previous years, to win trophies by scoring more goals than the other team, not by conceding fewer and, yes, there is a big difference.

Fast forward to the current day and Pep Guardiola is doing exactly the same. He is not using voodoo, or asking hypnotists to come and turn his players into super-humans. No, he is playing possession football.

The theory is extremely simple. When his team have the ball, the opponent cannot score. When his team doesn’t have the ball, the opponent may have an opportunity to score. Solution; retrieve the ball as quickly as possible when lost.

His methods also require an ability to pass the ball to each other rather than to the enemy, a little trick José Mourinho would be well advised to pass on to his Manchester United team.

Guardiola also wants his players to be aware of their position on the pitch and to make runs off the ball which stretch their opponents to the limit. These side issues are still tied to the main one of making sure that the ball is kept or retrieved quickly.

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Pundits, particularly those on Sky Sports, BT Sport and BEIN Sports, (these being the main channels readily available to your favourite football publication), are nonplussed as to how Guardiola gets his team to be so good.

You have to forgive them their ignorance because, as we said, they are mere mortal ex-footballers who were, in the main, very good in a profession requiring physical ability in abundance and mental ability in a thimble.

For some reason they are unable to work out that, if your team has the ball for 70-80% of a game and your team has some great players, then your team will win far more games than they will lose.

No, they sit giving their overpaid opinions about this being football the like of which has never been seen before! It is almost, in their eyes, other-worldly!

Just because Premier League managers over the years have over-complicated a very simple game does not mean that Guardiola, by sticking to basics and keeping it very simple, is from a different planet.

As we said before, remember Brazil, (if you’re of a certain age). Like City, they didn’t have a brilliant defence but, as their opponents didn’t see much of the ball, it didn’t really matter.

All that Guardiola has achieved this season he has done with virtually the same players who finished third last season. Proving again, that possession of the ball, not possession of the world’s best players, is what matters.

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He has added Kyle Walker to give the right side some pace and Ederson in goal to give his defenders some confidence and his opponents more of a challenge when shooting!

As for his other signings, Benjamin Mendy is currently sitting out the season with injury and Danilo and Bernardo Silva can’t get in the team.

What Pep is doing, at which he IS better than most, is getting the best from the majority of his players. David Silva, for example, is playing his best football for years. Leroy Sané looks like one of the buys of the decade and even John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi look like a decent partnership under Guardiola.

So to the other top six managers and anybody else who is interested: stop trying to over-complicate a very simple game. Drop all the different tactical formations for trying to get a result against all the other different tactical formations.

Go back to the basic principle of “the team which scores the most goals will win the game” and make sure you have the players who are good enough to be able to both understand this and also to achieve it.

In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em!

 

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Comments
  1. Harvey says:

    Never thought of it😴

    Like

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