TIME FOR A PEP TALK

Will stay and who will ar­rive, who GED BARNES on over... City ca­reer is Guardi- whose Manch­eser

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

What will Guardi­ola do at City?

WHEN Manch­ester City an­nounced ear­lier this sea­son that Pep Guardi­ola would be the man in charge for the 2016/17 cam­paign, it was greeted by joy­ous out­bursts from the blue half of town.

The step up in class was ev­i­dent, and there seemed to be lit­tle sym­pa­thy for cur­rent man­ager Manuel Pel­le­grini, who the fans had been shout­ing for to­wards the con­clu­sion of Roberto Mancini’s reign just a few sea­sons be­fore.

Pel­le­grini has won the Premier League and two League Cups with his ‘death by beau­ti­ful ge­ome­tery’ style of play, and while City have a fight on their hands to bag a top four spot in the Premier League this sea­son, they are still very much in the run­ning for the Cham­pi­ons League.

Yet Guardi­ola will be look­ing to shake up a City squad that has un­doubt­edly fal­tered this sea­son. David Silva wil stay, and will of­fer Guardi­ola more of a ‘Barcelona op­tion’ than the out-and-out pace of Ar­jen Robben and Franck Ribery at his cur­rent club, Bay­ern Mu­nich.

The jury is still out on Yaya Toure and, while there was never a pub­li­cised fall-out be­tween the Ivo­rian and Guardi­ola, City’s in­com­ing man­ager did sell Toure to City for £24m in 2010, pre­fer­ring Ser­gio Bus­quets in Barcelona’s mid­field.

Toure still pos­sesses the abil­ity to be a match­win­ner, as shown in the Cham­pi­ons League last 16 away leg against Dy­namo Kiev this sea­son.

It re­mains to be seen whether Guardi­ola will choose to dis­miss him, or in­clude him in his new City line-up.

Here, I’ve come up with the play­ers I think will leave, the ones who will stay and the ones who will be jet­ted in to aid Guardi­ola with his Manch­ester City re­vival project.

DE­PAR­TURES

MARTIN DEMICHE­LIS: Is any­one tak­ing bets on Demiche­lis re­main­ing at the the Eti­had next sea­son, well, other than the man him­self?

Signed for £4.2m in 2013, Demiche­lis started badly be­fore slowly set­tling in to his role as a squad player.

The Ar­gen­tine has shown glimpses of the player he used to be, but un­for­tu­nately shows too many glimpses of the player he is now and, at 35, will surely be on his way out in the sum­mer.

His full head of healthy hair would only anger Guardi­ola any­way. FER­NANDO: Like the ABBA song of the same name, the Brazil­ian has been com­pletely unin­spired since his £12m move from Porto in 2014. Brought in to con­trol the mid­field, Fer­nando sim­ply lacks the qual­ity to per­form at the high­est level. It looks very un­likely that he will stay in the Premier League next year. JE­SUS NAVAS: City fans have missed a trick by not cre­at­ing a ban­ner that reads: ‘JE­SUS SAVES....BUT IS RUB­BISH ON THE WING’. Navas ac­tu­ally im­pressed dur­ing the 2013/14 cam­paign, but since then his form has nose­dived at an alarm­ing rate. His £15m fee seemed like very smart busi­ness at the time, but will Guardi­ola choose to keep a winger who is now the wrong side of 30? Ar­guably, it hasn’t done Ar­jen Robben any harm, but it’s look­ing in­creas­ingly likely that Navas will be moved on this sum­mer.

WIL­FRIED BONY:

Heroic in Wales, but a fail­ure in Manch­ester, one might say Bony is the an­tithe­sis of Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer, es­pe­cially as Sol­sk­jaer knew where the net was.

Bought for £25m(!), Bony be­came the most ex­pen­sive African foot­baller, tak­ing the ti­tle from Manch­ester City leg­end Em­manuel Ade­bayor.

May be given a chance un­der Guardi­ola af­ter scor­ing 20 goals in 2014, but seems likely he will be shown the door. Whether he can find it is an­other mat­ter en­tirely...

ALEK­SAN­DAR KO­LAROV:

Signed in 2010 by Roberto Mancini, Ko­larov has been a con­sis­tent per­former on the left of City’s de­fence when needed.

Great at set-pieces, not so great at de­fend­ing, Ko­larov could make way for one of Pep’s new sign­ings...

Ar­rivals

DAVID ALABA: The Aus­trian in­ter­na­tional has been heav­ily linked to a move from cur­rent club Bay­ern Mu­nich.

At just 23, he has some of his best years ahead of him, and al­ready en­joys his foot­ball un­der Guardi­ola.

Alaba would strengthen the left-back po­si­tion con­sid­er­ably, es­pe­cially if Ko­larov departs this sum­mer. AYMERIC LAPORTE: One of the many promis­ing French play­ers cur­rently be­ing tipped for great things, Laporte rep­re­sents Ath­letic Bil­bao in La Liga.

Re­port­edly scouted by many of Europe’s ‘big clubs’, Laporte ex­cels at cen­tre-back.

With Vin­cent Kom­pany’s re­cent bat­tles with in­jury, and Demiche­lis seem­ingly on his way, the French in­ter­na­tional would add some much-needed qual­ity to City’s de­fence. ILKAY GUN­DO­GAN: Gun­do­gan’s is a name that fre­quently ap­pears in foot­ball gos­sip col­umns, although there could be some wheels to this one.

Guardi­ola is fa­mil­iar with the Ger­man in­ter­na­tional – af­ter see­ing Gun­do­gan first hand play­ing for Borus­sia Dort­mund – and would love to add some fresh im­pe­tus to City’s strug­gling mid­field. ALEX OXLADE-CHAM­BER­LAIN: OK, so this one is a long shot, but stranger things have hap­pened – Julien Faubert to Real Madrid any­one?

It’s not quite hap­pened for ‘The Ox’ at Ar­se­nal and he may not even make the squad for Euro 2016 this sum­mer. Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain would add to the quota of English play­ers at City, and has the pace, skill and tenac­ity that Guardi­ola loves to see in his teams. Cer­tainly one to keep an eye on.

OLA GUARDI DOWN TURNED E TO CHANC THE CITY IN PLAY FOR UN­DER 2005, STU­ART ER MANAG ! PEARCE

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