Manchester City: Pep’s Plan
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 17, 2016
With Pep’s imminent arrival, I look at the dream Manchester City team for next season. With a squad overhaul potentially on the way, Pep brings a sense of no more mister nice guy to the team. Players who are simply dead weight to the squad, they will be gone, simple as that. In this article especially, I will look at the team most City fans dream of watching. Pick a player, any player, and he will want to play under Pep Guardiola. Presuming that City finish in the top four this season, the calendar for next year will feature both champions league football and premier league football. For players, across all continents, champions league and premier league football is a fantastic foundation to start a new chapter in their career or even further their career.
Another big factor for City and Guardiola is the back room staff. With Pep likely to bring some of his staff from Bayern, a few names will remain. Brian Kidd, for example, will keep his role as first team coach. Kidd, overall, has massively helped the squad in recent years. Since joining City’s back room staff in 2009, he had witnessed both positive and negative things. Kidd was able to give Pellegrini and his staff and insight into English football when he first took over and it will be anticipated that he will do the same for Pep. When Guardiola first takes over at City, it will be Kidd he first looks to for some guidance. With many unknown staff members joining City alongside Pep, Brian Kidd will keep his place and try and adapt the new staff to English football. Although Guardiola doesn’t officially arrive till July, City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain is already working on securing the signings of the players Pep believes will improve the squad as a whole. Preparations for Pep’s arrival will be at an advanced stage when he eventually takes over at the Etihad.
Manchester City’s possible dream team under Pep Guardiola:
Goalkeeper – Joe Hart.
This position is surely un-negotiable. With Hart growing in confidence and quality each year, this is simply not going to change in the near future. Despite his Wembley heroics, however, Willy Caballero’s future at City doesn’t look good what’s so ever and ultimately, you would expect him to leave in the summer. At both Bayern and Barça, Pep has had two brilliant keepers in his ranks, so you would think this would change.
Right back – Bacary Sagna.
This one is a little bit harder, for me. Sagna and Zabaleta have both taken each other’s places this season but Sagna has been fantastic. Many City fans think a new right back should be purchased in the summer, but I think we should stick with Sagna and Zabaleta for one more year. Sagna, for me, has been arguably one of the most consistent players for us this season and unfortunately for City and Zabaleta, he has been shocking this season. Although Zabaleta’s passion for the club cannot be faulted, I just feel he is still at the club because of his passion, not his ability. This is why, in my opinion, we should opt for Sagna next season.
Centre back – Vincent Kompany.
As I’m writing this, Kompany has just suffered his third injury of the season and is set to miss in excess of a month. Without Kompany, we are simply a different team. Mangala and Demichelis are not good back up options and I would expect that to change this summer. Marc Bartra is a possible bargain at just 9M and would be a solid back up for Kompany. With Kompany however, you do have your doubts. Not with his ability, but with his fitness. Before the Kiev game he said he was ‘100% fit and ready’, and then seven minutes into the game he goes off injured, again. But, he is simply irreplaceable.
Centre back – Nicolas Otamendi.
After a shaky start, he has been fantastic recently. A ball-playing centre back playing with Kompany is exactly what we need. And looking at him play, he is a Pep kind of defender. Pep may want another centre back to play alongside Kompany though, as I’m sure there are better defenders out there.
Left back – David Alaba.
Widely regarded as the best left back in the world, Alaba would be an amazing addition to the team. He has it all; set pieces, pace, agility and he can even play in many positions, including centre back. It is unsure whether Bayern would consider selling Alaba to Pep’s Manchester City, but that is coupled with the fact that he is one of the best players in their ranks. If we can’t get out hands on Alaba, however, Jose Gaya is another player who has come on leaps and bounds at Valencia. But, if we can pull of the signing of Alaba, it would a fantastic signing and we would arguably have the best left back in world football.
Centre defensive midfielder – Fernandinho.
Presuming we will play City’s current formation, 4-2-3-1, we will need two players who sit just in front of the defence, first one is Fernandinho. As well as a few players, Fernandinho has been magnificent this season. He chases down every single ball and has unbelievable locomotion in the middle of midfield. I don’t think Pep will replace him, as he likes players who press high up the pitch. Fabian Delph is also a good shout after impressing for City since he has arrived. For me, however, Delph is more of a squad player, but an important one none the less.
Centre defensive midfielder – Ilkay Gündogan.
Ilkay Gündogan, highly thought of in Germany but also around the world. Arguably one of the best midfielders in the bundesliga, he has everything in his locker. Passing, shooting, dribbling and defending. He is the perfect player to take over from Yaya Toure, if he leaves, which is likely. He has an average passing stat of 87.8%, the highest in the bundesliga. Despite suffering lengthy injuries a few years ago, Gündogan has only missed 8 games for Borussia Dortmund since then, which is remarkable for someone who is ‘injury prone’. Still only 25 years old, Gündogan looks like the ideal signing for City. Gündogan’s agent and uncle, Ilhan Gündogan, met with City’s Txiki Begiristain in Amsterdam, suggesting that Gündogan, in the near future, could become a Manchester City player.
Right midfielder – Leroy Sané.
Sané, a young winger playing for Schalke, is a talented young player who has caught the eye in he bundesliga. With Pep likely to bring in an influx of bundesliga talent, Leroy Sané would be ideal for City. Still only 20, Sané already has a cap for the German national side and has a very impressive 7 goals in 4 games for the German u21’s. City haven’t really had creative wingers in recent years, but with Sané and Sterling operating on both wings, City could create their very own ‘SAS’.
Centre attacking midfielder- Kevin De Bruyne.
After lighting up the league thus far, Kevin De Bruyne is almost certain to do the same next year. This time, in my opinion, we should play him in the centre. David Silva; a magician, a fans favourite and a brilliant player. But, we need him to perform and he simply hasn’t done that this season. If he’s playing through pain, don’t play him. But, sadly, he’s seemed to lose a bit of sparkle that we know he possesses. Now 30, you can’t help but feel he’s losing his touch. Now, with De Bruyne, he looks like he’s on a different level, although it may be a hard hitting truth for City fans. I do hope Silva stays at the club, but next season, I don’t think he should be assured of a starting place every game, unless he performs.
Left midfielder – Raheem Sterling.
Do people really realise how special Raheem Sterling is? No, not at all. If this guy didn’t move from Liverpool to City, he would be dubbed as the next big thing in world football. £50M, for Raheem Sterling, is a bargain. Trust me, this is a bargain. People forget the guy is still 21 and this signing is not only for out current team, but also for the future. Money has changed in football completely so, if Sterling goes on to be a success and stays here for 5-10 years, why isn’t he worth 50M? Exactly, he could be, easily.
Striker – Sergio Agüero.
The best player in the premier league. This man is on another level, scores so many important goals and is just absolutely unbelievable. Whenever he picks up the ball, you just think somethings going to happen. A true gentleman off the pitch and a world class player on the pitch, what more could you want from a player? strong, fast, agile and just all in all, incredible. He’s come up with some very, very big goals for us in recent years and he will continue to do this for many more years. Ultimately, Sergio Agüero is irreplaceable.
With Pep Guardiola’s arrival, City will make many signings this summer, not just starting players but squad players too. High pressure and fast paced play is the most probable type of play Pep will develop at the Etihad. All in all, Pep’s plan for Manchester City is an exciting one and one to look forward to in the future.
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