Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been all over the news in the last 24hrs for his explosive interview in which he took on the powers that be. The Blues boss held nothing back. He spoke on different issues; taking on UEFA, La Liga president Javier Tebas and other clubs on a crusade against Manchester City. But he also revealed that the club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is not happy with him about City’s Premier League campaign this season.
“My chairman is not happy with me. We finished 21 or 23 points behind Liverpool. He’s not happy with me, but we discuss internally to try and do better next season, to convince them but always on the pitch,” he said.
It has been a surprise this term to see City fall so far behind Liverpool in the league. The Blues currently sit 21 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side on the table with three games left to play. Considering the fact that City have one of the best teams in the world at the moment, a team that beat the Reds 4-0 when the two sides met at the Etihad Stadium recently, there’s no excuse why the side should be so far behind.
Liverpool practically won the league title in December thanks to a huge gap at the top of the table that seemed unbridgeable. But this has been due mainly to Man City’s inconsistency all season long. For example, already relegated Norwich City have been able to win just five games out of 36 all season. But the Canaries beat Manchester City. No, it was not a one-of offset. Teams beating Manchester city this season despite being the weaker sides has happened much too often.
Despite having such a bad season as they struggle in mid-table, City has lost the same number of games as Arsenal. Also, despite struggling to make the top four, both Manchester United and Wolves have lost fewer games than City so far, 8 each. Comparing City’s 9 games lost to Liverpool’s 2 makes it easy to see where the problem is. By virtue of the competition in the league now, a team that wants to challenge for the title cannot afford to lose that many games in a campaign anymore.
What that means is City will need to shape up come next season. The best part of this is that the manager is determined to correct the mistakes made this season. He is already talking up the need to strengthen the team in certain areas. Surely, the defence will take priority. The centre-back remains a problem area for the team and Guardiola will do well to bring in a top-class defender in the mould of Kalidou Koulibaly.
Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar is another viable option. The Slovakia international, 25 is currently valued at €48 million. He will represent a good investment to partner Aymeric Laporte at the heart of City’s defence.
Quite as important too, is the fact that the team will approach next season with a different attitude. After winning the Premier League back-to-back, alongside other trophies, there was a bit of complacency. But Liverpool’s ease to the title, as a result, means both the manager and the players will adopt a different approach next term. They now understand the importance of every single point in the grand scheme of things.
Starting the season strongly and maintaining consistency throughout is now a requirement to emerge champions at the end. Guardiola will do everything to make the chairman happy.
If that guarantees anything, it’s that the players will give their all to wrestle back the league title from Liverpool.