When Pep Guardiola signed on to be the Manchester City’s manager a video emerged shortly thereafter of the new boss in a cab with a seven year old super fan. In the video, part of a segment called “Pep’s Taxi”, the child praised Pep as a savior and proclaimed “we are going to win all the trophies now, where are we going to put them all”.
It was a sentiment that was shared by most Manchester City fans, a sentiment shared by many fans of other big clubs as well, for how could you not be excited by one of the most successful managers in football. My good friend Mike called me “a lucky bum” when Guardiola was announced, many pointed at all the players Guardiola would bring. And they were right, Guardiola is a genius, and his record precedes him. Winning is the norm for him, for the first 10 games under his tutelage Manchester City looked like a team transformed. They were scoring in bunches, controlling possession and pace.
…BACK TO REALITY
Everything seemed to go unraveled right after. Pep’s tiki taka style seemed to falter with a weak back four. Manchester City has conceded too many goals early in games, constantly playing catch up in both the league and the Champions League, most recently being stunned with two goals in the opening five minutes of the match against Leicester City. The open attacking style used against them backfired miserably as the team was exposed easily, leaving Guardiola in the hot seat barely half a season into his tenure.
The game against Arsenal was a pivotal game in the season for both teams and a key victory, but Pep must build upon it as Chelsea is still leading the Premier League seven points ahead. It may seem like there is a ton of football left as we reach the end of the year but those final 18 weeks come fast. Pep Guardiola needs to establish the defensive four, and maybe temporarily mix up his tactics to get a string of victories going and get back into the hunt for the title. The team looked sluggish and made too many clumsy error against Watford and were lucky to escape with a victory, leading by the minimum until David Silva’s late goal sealed the game.
The injured and suspended players will eventually return but the storm must be weathered. It takes time to build chemistry and to instill a philosophy of football but unfortunately time and patience are rare commodities in top flight football. You must win and you must win immediately and winning often comes with consistency. Only trophies matter and without a real trophy this season Guardiola might not get a second chance.