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Five Things Pep Guardiola Must Do In The Days Ahead


/ by Obiweluozo Martins
The Premier League is arguably one of the most watched league in Europe if not the whole world at large due to the massive TV right (coverage) and the level of organization as pitches are ever green in wait for kick-off of matches at every match venue.

 The Premier League this season will be more interesting following the arrival of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium who replaced Chilean Manager Manuel Pellegrini who managed to finish in the top four (in the Champions leagues spot) with the help of Nigeria prodigy Kelechi Iheanacho who equalized to make it 1-1 against Swansea City ensuring that Guardiola work at city is not compounded. 

With the arrival of the high profile Coach (Guardiola) there is certainly some weight of expectations at the club as the man have masterminded one of the best playing style in European football with FC Barcelona. Now at the Etihad the new adventure begins for the Guardiola and City fateful and certain things are to be done to ensure the manager lives up to the expectation following a slender 2-1 win over bottom half side Sunderland at the weekend. 
On this we evaluate the five things the City coach must tackle in his reign at the Etihad.

City must play in the Champions league as that’s where Guardiola will be really tested.

 The Manager is little bit fortunate to be in a driving seat to qualify his team to the Champions league following a last day draw with Welsh side Swansea City as they drew 1-1 in the game with Neighbours Manchester United breathing on their neck following uncertainty about the UEFA Champions Leagues Spot as one point was separating the Manchester (City and United) side.

 Now all said and done Guardiola will need to mastermind a Champions League place for Man-City against a team beaten 0-3 away in Romania and 1-0 at Stamford Bridge 2 season ago in Romanian power house Steau Bucharest. The manager have all the advantage needed to pull through with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and David Silva very much in the mix.

 A win and Champions League qualification will be his second task and a first major one following an opening day win against Sunderland at home to silence every form of doubt as the managers’ pedigree is on the line after the unconvincing win at the weekend.

Can some of the two best professionals in the modern game ever work together?

One of the most pertinent issue at the club the young manager Pep Guardiola needs to tackle as soon as possible is the position of Yaya Toure at the club. The player (Yaya) and the Coach (Pep) are familiar quantity after previously working alongside each other at former Spanish giants Barcelona. 

Reports indicates that the experienced midfield (Yaya Toure) did not enjoy a cordial relationship with Guardiola which led to the player exit from Catalan giant to the Etihad Stadium where he became a household name for the club and in African (world) football. There is an immediate need for Guardiola to make a quick assessment and decision about the central midfielder who have been a pioneer of the club since his move from Catalan side Barcelona.

 It may be gathered that Guardiola segregated against Yaya Toure preferring Spanish ball reader and midfield dynamite Sergio Busquets in a very partial circumstances when Yaya was at the Catalan side. Guardiola must embrace a new beginning and integrate Yaya into the Squad or let the player have a clue as regards to his position and stand at the club as any form of uncertainty and misunderstanding may hamper Guardiola and City challenge for the title this season.

Kelechi Iheanacho, a striker (center forward) or a midfielder (behind the striker)?

The Nigerian prodigy is causing a lots of tactical problems for his manager starting from Manuel Pellegrini to the new manager at the helm in Pep Guardiola. This is as a result of a players who have a special ability to perform in different positions. It is arguably difficult to make an accurate judgment in a haste as regards to Iheanacho’s position in a starting formation.

 His ability to finish is beyond doubt as his composure in front of goal in the midst of pressure is very commendable prompting his coaches (from Siasia against Egypt to Guardiola at the moment) to think otherwise.

 Last season against AS Roma in Pre-Season in the 2-2 draw he delivered a well-tailored pass characterized by vision and quality on the ball to set up Raheem Sterling to make his scoring bow following a big move from Liverpool and the young lad scored the second with precision and composure attached to it giving his new manager some mind decision ahead of the new season following a goal poaching header against the Gunners last week and Guardiola have all to do to find an answer to that as season progresses.

Guardiola (in training ground) must enlighten City players what is expected of them in matches.

The talismanic manager who came following a two year productive campaign at German Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich have his work cut out to raise the level of team ethics and understanding of his strategy and approach to a game. 

The former Barcelona Coach may have redefined football with an awesome playing pattern in FC Barcelona that saw the Catalan side dominate top side like Chelsea and arch-rival Real Madrid in big game in Europe.

 With City not lacking in talent Guardiola must develop a playing style and a suitable rhythms that will suit his tactical ambitions going ahead in the new season. With or without Yaya Toure City have enough talent in central area in the presence of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Brazilian duo of Fernadinho and Fernando at his disposal. 

All the manager need is to make them blend and Man-City will become a difficult side to come up against, though City fans must be patience as things may be easier said than done in reality.

Can Guardiola City side forge a cohesive unit at the back in the hunt for the Premier League?

Guardiola’s City have shown defensive vulnerability just as was evidence in the 3-2 defeat to Arsene Wenger’s men recently in Pre-Season allowing the Walcott and Nigerian duo of Alex Iwobi and impressive Chuba Akpom to find the back of the City’s net after talismanic forward Sergio Aguero have given the Etihad side the lead following an inviting cross into the box from the right. 

The Manchester City side are known to falter defensively and have been winning games based on outscoring their opponent as City possess a strong fire power up rout in Aguero, Kelechi and Kevin De Bruyne. 

The time is now for Guardiola to find a balance from his tactical book and avert further danger in the days ahead as Jermaine Defoe capitalized from a poor marking in the box to equalizer for the black cats (Sunderland). City must find a way to form a defensive unit from their latest signing John Stones especially in the absence of Captain Vincent Kompany if they are to remain in the hunt for the Premier League and other titles this season.

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