Manchester City’s defensive issues have come under the spotlight.
Pep Guardiola’s negative were chaotic defensively and have been punished when Todd Cantwell along with Kenny McLean delivered Norwich.
Sergio Aguero changed the half-time complexion after he glanced in Bernardo Silva’s cross minutes before the interval, but it had been another defensive lapse saw that Emi Buendia rob Nicolas Otamendi about the edge of the City box before shot for Teemu Pukki to score the goal which saw Norwich grip for victory.
Discussing Sunday Supplement, The Daily Telegraph’s Jason Burt, Miguel Delaney of The Independent and ESPN’s Natalie Gedra analysed City’s defensive problems…
Burt:”The big problem is that the defence. I believe Vincent Kompany leaving and the injury of Laporte has been crucial. You look at the mix of both John and Otamendi Stones, it doesn’t do the job.
“You look at it and you think of the riches of the squad, how strong it’s over he toss. There is one place where there’s a major problem today and that I think what is interesting is that teams will look at exactly what Norwich failed and think that is the way to really go at them – be very competitive on your attacking. The aim was there from Norwich to have a visit Manchester City.
“In the last few decades in particular some groups have played City and believed this is damage limitation – let’s just try and get out of there using the smallest defeat we could get.
“Today teams know that there are vulnerabilities within this team which we can exploit. That’s the challenge for Guardiola to deal with because they were rather poor.”
Burt:”The way that City perform with the center of defence is going to be an issue for them going forward. That combination of Otamendi and Stones does not function as a set, and that’s going to become a real matter.
“They’re not going to change their way of playing and moving forward that’ll be the biggest issue. I’m surprised Otamendi remained in the club. With Kompany going they thought they needed to keep him. However, I has been surprised they didn’t bring in someone as first alternative alongside Laporte and believed he had gone past his sell by date.
“Stones has his difficulties concerning the mistakes he has been making and that he has not been overly convincing. It was quite interesting year that Kompany and a great deal of games played with and he was had by them.
“The mix of these 2 means there isn’t a leader. Nobody really is currently marshalling the defence and taking control of it. It should be Otamendi but I do not think he’s strong enough to do that as a personality. John Stones are liked by me, I like him as a player. He is a player that is really good although there are difficulty. He needs somebody alongside him who is about to marshal this defence. He’s not going to be the person.”
Delaney:”Among the undercurrents prior to the year was whether Liverpool will be able to sustain the identical amount they achieved last season. The expectation was they’d shed, not City.
“People expected this from City last year after the 100 points. Whether this is the drop off which comes from application.
“Among those things that was said following the treble was that they have been knackered, that the emotional effort required to win those three prizes – and I guess you can bring in the European campaign also – was a whole lot. The players wish to stay at precisely the same level but almost they can not. It’s simply taken too much of a toll.”
Gedra:”Everyone is talking about City’s defence. I think we have to quit looking so much at the people and see City within the past few seasons have managed to find collective solutions. And I think that is what they are going to do now with this issue that is defensive.
“You may think that Stones and Otamendi are not playing Otamendi and Laporte or Kompany and Laporte were, but Laporte is injured so that’s it. Because he was the defender for City of course it has a huge effect in how that they defend and build up.
“However, City always manage to find excellent solutions. They played Kevin de Bruyne and he was the portion of the game. So I genuinely feel they will find defensive alternatives looking at the collective.”
Burt:”Guardiola’s got a major problem and he has to get a quick solution. It could be that it is moving Fernandinho back to the defence, which I believe they’ve been doing in training and trialling just a bit.”
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