Manchester City’s defensive problems have come under the spotlight following a 3-2 defeat at Norwich.
Pep Guardiola’s side were twisted defensively and have been penalized once Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell delivered Norwich.
Sergio Aguero altered the half-time complexion when he glanced in Bernardo Silva’s cross moments before the period, but it had still another defensive lapse saw which Emi Buendia rob Nicolas Otamendi on the edge of the City box before shot for Teemu Pukki to evaluate the goal which finally saw Norwich grip for success.
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 huge problem is the defence. I think Vincent Kompany and the harm of Laporte has been key. You look at the mixture of Otamendi and John Stones, it will not work.
“You look at it and you think of the wealth of the squad, how powerful it’s over he pitch. There is 1 area where there is a significant problem and I think what’s fascinating is that teams will look at what Norwich failed and believe that’s the best way to really go at them – be quite aggressive in your attacking. The aim was that to have a go at Manchester City.
“In the last few decades specifically some teams have played City and believed that this is damage limitation – let’s just try and get out from there with the tiniest defeat we can get.
“Today teams understand there are vulnerabilities in this group which we’re able to exploit. That is the challenge for Guardiola to handle because defensively they were quite poor.”
Burt:”The way that City perform with the centre of defence will be a problem for them moving forward. That mixture of Otamendi and Stones doesn’t work as a set, and that’s going to be a real issue.
“They are not likely to modify their way of playing and going forward that will be the biggest issue. I’m surprised Otamendi remained in the club. Together with Kompany going maybe they believed they had to keep him. However, I was amazed they did not bring in someone else as original choice and felt he had gone past his sell by date.
“Stones has his problems concerning the mistakes he has been producing and that he hasn’t been too convincing. It was quite interesting last season that Kompany and a great deal of games played with and they had him.
“The combination of these two means there is not a leader. Nobody taking control of it and is marshalling the defence. I really don’t think he is powerful enough to do this as a personality although it should be Otamendi . John Stones are liked by me, I enjoy him as a player. There are difficulty however he is a player that is really good. He needs somebody together with him who is going to marshal that defence. He’s not likely to be this person.”
Delaney:”One of the undercurrents before the year was whether Liverpool will be able to sustain the same amount they achieved last year. The anticipation was they would shed, not City.
“People expected that from City last season after the 100 points. Whether this is the drop off which comes in application.
“Among those things that was mentioned following the laps was the fact that they have been knackered, the mental effort necessary to win these three prizes – and I suppose you can bring from the European effort too – was a good deal. The players wish to stay at exactly the identical level but. It is only taken too much toll.”
Gedra:”Everyone is discussing City’s defence. I think we need to quit looking a lot in the individuals and see City within the last couple of seasons have managed to find solutions. And I believe that is what they’re going to do today with this matter.
“You might think that Stones and Otamendi aren’t enjoying like Otamendi and Laporte or even Kompany and Laporte have been, but Laporte is injured so that’s it. Since he was the most consistent defender for City of course it has a big effect particularly in the way they build up and shield.
“However, City always manage to locate superior solutions. They played without Kevin de Bruyne for the most part of last year and he was the part of the game that was attacking. So I truly feel that they will find defensive alternatives looking at the collective.”
Burt:”Guardiola’s have a major problem and he must get a quick solution. It could well be that it is moving Fernandinho back to the defence, which I think they’ve been doing in practice and trialling a small bit”
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