Manchester City had a predictable preseason winning only one of their three games in America. For the International Champions Cup, Pep decided to go with a youthful squad mainly due to Manchester City’s players at the World Cup. Although not a great sample size, there are a few takeaways.
Eric Garcia Impresses
Eric Garcia made his first-team debut this tour and put together 3 wonderful performances. Watching Garcia play live makes you realize why he was so highly-rated by Barcelona. Garcia showcased his valuable skillset in the first game as he showed wonderful ability to break down Dortmund’s first line of press and find his teammates every time. He was also consistently mopping up at the back. In the next game vs. Liverpool, Garcia looked like a veteran as he was assured at the back, displayed great positioning, read the game well, had nice tackles, and won multiple duels against Sturridge. He continued his great form against Bayern once again displaying his great passing ability and positioning.
While City don’t have a shortage of first-team defenders, Garcia’s impressive form, defensive prowess, passing ability, and eye for going forward, has certainly moved him up the pecking order or at the very least gave Pep Guardiola some food for thought.
Sané Doesn’t Miss A Beat
Earlier in the summer, Joachim Low surprisingly left Leroy Sané at home for the World Cup in Russia. Not surprising though is how Sané took care of himself. Without any international football for two months, some might’ve lost a few steps but Sané didn’t. Sane continued his dangerous form as he completed passes, was dangerous moving forward, and used his blistering pace to latch onto Bernardo’s through ball to score a goal vs. Dortmund.
Sané surprised many with his season last year and it will be hard to top his 2017/18 season as he won Premier League Young Player of the Year but I expect even bigger things from him this year.
Silva Looks At Home In New Position
Bernardo Silva did have international football this summer but only played 238 minutes for Portugal. Silva came to the US early to join Manchester City for the Preseason and was great. Possibly the player of the ICC for City, Silva bagged 2 wonderful goals and an assist. Bernardo showed his tactical ability as he rotated between operating as a second striker and in the midfield. Last year he was primarily used as a winger but with the signing of Riyad Mahrez, Silva can go back to his more natural position in the midfield.
Bernardo showed his wonderful vision and passing ability as he hit a wonderful through ball to Sane who scored vs. Liverpool.
He then showed his nose for the goal from his traditional position bagging two great goals against Bayern completing the comeback. Both are wonderful goals but my favorite is his second. Not only was it the winner but he makes a nice run into the box, controls the pass, composes himself in between two defenders and puts it past the keeper near post.
While it’s not certain where Bernardo Silva will play for City this year, he’s sure to have a tremendous impact as a playmaker.
Overall, the preseason tour didn’t go as well as planned but wonderful performances from veterans and youngsters are great signs for another successful season!