Could this be Guardiola biggest challenge?
Guardiola conceded the title to Liverpool as his side suffered a sixth Premier League defeat of the season at Tottenham. Contrarily, the manager remains optimistic about the future.
Guardiola has never lost as many League games in a single season during his management career. Their latest setbacks leave his side 22 points adrift of runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Equally important, City remains two points clear of third-placed Leicester and 14 points better off than fifth-placed Tottenham.
City has gone consecutive games without scoring for the first time under Guardiola having last done so in March 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini.
Guardiola’s side is still involved in three cup competitions. The challenge now is to take stock of what the season’s objectives are. But is this the most testing period of Guardiola’s time in management?
“You wouldn’t have said that at the start of the season,” said Graeme Souness.
“You can trace this back to August and the Vincent Kompany situation. Did they know what was coming? They didn’t know their best central defensive partnership and they went and bought another full-back in Joao Cancelo.”
“That comes back to haunt them as they’ve taken their mainstay out of the midfield Fernandinho. That weakened the midfield and has caused a major issue.”
“Sergio Aguero’s goals are still there. But in the wider areas, there is enough there even though Sterling has gone off the boil. In the center of midfield, David Silva, Bernardo Silva comes in and Ilkay Gundogan’s still there. They have got the best one of all in Kevin De Bruyne.”
“They certainly need another center-half and will start to look long term at who will replace Sergio Aguero. But I don’t see City as being a side that’s in a crisis.”
“Some of the football they played today was sensational. Right now, there is not a lot wrong with City.” Finished the Sky Sports pundit.
“It happened again”
Regarding the 2-0 defeat by Spurs, Guardiola insists City still played well.
“We played well but we lost the game. It happened again. So, it’s something we have to discover.” Said Guardiola.
“They arrived twice and scored two goals. All the season, it’s been quite similar in many games. I don’t have too many things to say about the performance but this business is about how many goals you score and many you concede.”
“Against Man United, we lost 1-0 and it was the same story. We created a lot of chances and didn’t score. We have to accept it and work on that. But sometimes, it’s not easy. We did well in duels and runs and the chances we created.”