Date: 13th December 2016 at 10:39am
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Is it me or are there others among us who feel that Guardiola is clueless when it comes to the Barclays Premier League?

The Catalan Messiah looks to have precisely no idea how to get his charges to breakdown supposed mediocre teams, let alone detail them on how to get the goals they need to win matches.

The football seems fine when you can point at the ridiculous possession stats and the number of passes the City team makes, but as we all know possession only makes prizes when there`s a goal at the end of it and basically when as at present, Aguero equals no goals, Aguero absent equals a minus number of goals. That is exactly what took place at the King Power Stadium over the weekend.

We were told that Guardiola has a precise manner in which he expects his teams to play. It looked ok for the first few weeks but the Premier League is a different proposition than La Liga or the Bundesliga where, let`s face it you or I could manage a team to the title with the resources of Bayern and Barca. Whatever Pep is trying to put in place at the Etihad is maybe an impossible dream.

Trying to teach old dogs new tricks is one thing, but trying to teach a catalogue of dogs of previous wars is another. Who on earth thought that Kolarov, who at the start of the season looked like a new player, could sustain life among a back three that chops and changes week-in week-out and that is backed by the worst goalkeeper I`ve ever seen playing for City since the likes of Keith MacRae, and who remembers him?

It is legend that the legend that is Pablo Zabaleta, a great man who laid down many foundations in company with Kompany and Nigel de Jong and Yaya for what was to become one of City`s best periods in trophy procurement, is now in the twilight of his career and those battle-hardened legs can no longer carry the day. With de Jong long gone and Kompany effectively finished, only Yaya is still effectively there. Effectively? Well maybe ineffectively.

We were told that his meticulous back room staff prepare diligently for each match and produce game planes to beat other teams. Have they had the last two months off? Why do City need to pay these people to produce a game plan to beat Leicester? Everyone seems to be doing so with ease, yet these people could see that eight at the back, win a tackle, get it to Mahrez who toe bungs it over the top to Vardy is a simple way beat a clueless back three and at best an awful net minder.

The Pedmachine warned in his last Ped Report that having not scored for what seven matches Vardy would get one against City. I didn`t expect him to get a walk-in hat trick although it is not difficult to see why..

In reality, perhaps Guardiola`s pedigree has been slipping. Having moves from Barcelona where his team won practically everything in sight, at Bayern he failed to get them the Champions League. Yes he can point to the Bundesliga title and an assortment of domestic cups, but he failed to produce the big one because his teams switch off at Easter with the Bundesliga in the bag.

This team, as I have said is going to win nothing this season. It is incapable right now of killing off anyone and everyone will fancy a match against a team who couldn`t defend an innocent man and as one wag said on Twitter, a goalie who couldn`t save a word document.

As at the Etihad last season. Leicester tore City to shreds on, what, less than 20% possession? And let`s not forget it was Joe Hart who visited his netting three times that day, the same Joe Hart we seem to want back at the Etihad asap but who also had three stuck past him last weekend in the Torino Derby.

This inability to defend has now casts its dark shadow throughout the team. There is no confidence up top, where the goals have pretty much dried up and not enough combat in midfield where it is easy to pass square and back but using that combination will not help the team get goals. I know City scored 2 late goals on Saturday but, hey at 4-0 wasn`t Leicester`s job done?

City were undone, once again by a so-called striker who is not really fit to lace Aguero`s boots, but who generally knows where to go looking for his chances, especially when they are delivered on a golden plate by a shocking defence.

Stones, Pep`s golden boy of the start of the season has gone into the kind of shell he did last season with Everton. He is too young to carry the case for the defence on his own. I`m sure the idea was to settle him in alongside Kompany, but we`ve seen over the last 2 seasons that Kompany`s fitness cannot be trusted. Otamendi is nobody`s mentor. Who wants to defend like him in the Barclays Premier League? So, it should have been a matter of priority to get an established defender to help coach Stones along. Or as an alternative go for broke and throw in Adarabioyo who every time I see him looks completely accomplished.

With injuries and suspensions now in full flow City actually look lightweight at the front. Sterling needs to get himself back quickly and de Bruyne needs to step up a notch to re-establish what he started at the beginning of this season. If not we will be watching a City in meltdown mode.

Everybody knows that you won`t win a title in England with a useless goalkeeper and both City and Liverpool are almost walking the Barclays Premier League trophy to Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea seem to have no problem in grinding out a 1-0 win from only one shot on target, because they have a mean defence, a system they have bought into and a full-on international goalkeeper in one of the best international teams on current form. Other contenders are no different. Hugo Lloris is keeping Spuds in with a shout and how many points has de Gea saved for the Stretfords? Arsenal have successfully recycled Cech and City have ejected England`s number one in favour of a harem scarem net minder whose footwork, his speciality I`m told, gives more rise to kami-kaze defending than setting up attacks.

Chelsea had three shots on target at the Etihad and scored the lot. Enough said.

No doubt those at planet Etihad will be delighted to have seen City draw Monaco in the last 16 of the Champions League. On current form AS Monaco will have been delighted to get City especially at home in second leg. I can`t say make no mistake, this will be no easy confrontation, because City will make a mistake, they will make many and these could cost them the match unless Pep gets some kind of buy-in by the time these matches come back around.

Tomorrow City will entertain Watford and boy will Troy Deeney be looking forward to that one. No doubt he will bully Stones and whoever Guardiola puts alongside him, probably Otamendi and Kolarov, and help himself to a couple of easy headers. We`ll have to wait and see.

Right now it is difficult to be too positive about a season that set off like a runaway train, but that has now hit the buffers. A couple of weeks ago it was about keeping in touch at the top of the league it is now about keeping in touch with fourth place, especially with the Gooners on the weekend horizon and Liverpool waiting to welcome in the New Year no doubt at City`s expense.

I often wonder if there`s something more profound going down at both City and Liverpool where the demands of the managers might not be being too well received by the current squads. I think Sue feels the same about her lads. They too have a suspect package in front of an even more suspect net minder. Just where did City and Liverpool find these people?

For me I`d love to see Caballero reinstated for the matches over the holiday period. He has a presence that Bravo has not and I feel that he will stop a shot whereas Clownio had demonstrated all too often, he is to a football what garlic was to Dracula. I would then like Santa to deliver Van Dijk from Southampton immediately the transfer window opens. This will give City more stability in terms of defence and a relatively young duo who could be the bedrock of the team for years to come if we can find the right goal tender.

Words suggesting that Fernandinho could be in for the chop worry me. He has easily been the most consistent player for the last 2 seasons, despite his welter of yellow cards and his stupid red one against Chelsea. Yes he`s probably the wrong side of 30 but he stills an energy and desire sometimes absent in others.

City need something to start to rescue their season. It can`t all be laid at the door of the Champions League because they simply are not equipped to win it. Two home wins will start to settle the Blue Mooners nerves a bit, especially if they can hit a few goals in the process. Having said that 2 scruffy 1-0 wins would work, but I can`t see Watford or Arsenal not scoring.

It could leave Pep on the precipice. Maybe he should get Big Sam as a defence coach!

 
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