Manchester City’s defensive problems have come under the spotlight.
Pep Guardiola’s negative were twisted without the Aymeric Laporte and were punished when Kenny McLean along with Todd Cantwell sent Norwich.
Sergio Aguero altered the half-time complexion after he glanced in Bernardo Silva’s cross moments before the period, but it was another defensive lapse saw which Emi Buendia rob Nicolas Otamendi about the edge of the City box before shot for Teemu Pukki to score the goal which saw Norwich hold on for victory.
Speaking on Sunday Supplement, The Daily Telegraph’s Jason Burt, Miguel Delaney of The Independent and ESPN’s Natalie Gedra analysed City’s defensive issues…
Burt:”The big problem is the defence. I think Vincent Kompany and the injury of Laporte has been crucial. You examine the combination of both Otamendi and John Stones, it will not get the job done.
“You look at it and you think of the wealth of this squad, how strong it’s over he pitch. There’s 1 place where there’s a problem that is major and that I think what’s interesting is that clubs will appear at exactly what Norwich failed and think that is the way to go at them be quite competitive in your assaulting. The intent was there from Norwich to have a go at Manchester City.
“In the past couple of decades specifically some groups have performed City and believed this is damage limitation – let’s just try and get out from there with all the smallest defeat we can get.
“Today teams know that there are vulnerabilities within this group which we’re able to exploit. That is the struggle for Guardiola to handle because they were very bad”
Burt:”The manner that City perform the center of defence is going to be a problem for them going forward. That mixture of Stones and Otamendi doesn’t work as a pair, and that is going to be a real matter.
“They are not going to change their manner of playing and going forward that will be the biggest issue. I’m surprised Otamendi stayed in the club. With Kompany going perhaps they believed they needed to keep him. But I felt he had gone past his sell by date and was surprised they did not bring in someone else as initial option next to Laporte.
“Stones has had his difficulties concerning the mistakes he’s been making and that he has not been too convincing. It was quite intriguing year that Kompany and a lot of games played and they needed him.
“The mix of these two means there is not a leader. Nobody taking control of it and also really is marshalling the defence. I do not think he is strong enough to do that as a personality although it should be Otamendi really. John Stones are liked by me, I enjoy him as a player. There are difficulty however he is a player. He needs somebody alongside him who’s likely to marshal that defence. He is not likely to be the person.”
Delaney:”Among the undercurrents before the year was if Liverpool will be able to sustain the identical amount they achieved last season. The expectation was they’d drop off, not City.
“People expected that from City last season after the 100 points. Whether that is the slight drop off that comes from program.
“One of the things that was mentioned following the laps was the fact that they have been knackered, the mental effort needed to win those three trophies – and I suppose you can bring from the European campaign too – was a lot. The players wish to stay in precisely the identical level but almost they can not. It is just taken too much toll.”
Gedra:”Everybody else is talking about City’s defence. I believe see City over the past few seasons have been able to find collective solutions and we will need to quit looking so much at the people. And I think that is what they’re going to do now with this issue.
“You might believe that Stones and Otamendi are not playing Otamendi and Laporte or Kompany and Laporte have been, but Laporte is injured so that is it. Of course it has a big effect particularly since he had been the most consistent defender for City.
“But City always manage to find excellent solutions. They played without Kevin de Bruyne and he had been the essential portion of the game. So now I truly feel they will find defensive solutions looking at the collective.”
Burt:”Guardiola’s got a big problem and he must obtain a fast solution. It could be that it is moving Fernandinho back to the defence, which I presume they have been doing in training and trialling just a small bit.”
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