MANCHESTER (VG) While Erling Braut Haaland (22) played big in the 3-3 game against Newcastle last weekend, Pep Guardiola and his teammates want Manchester City to look differently against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
From VG behind the bench at Manchester City At St James’ Park last Sunday It was clear that Guardiola was frustrated at times. Having taken the lead early on with a goal from Ilkay Gündogan (31), Newcastle dominated.
– We suffer a little after the first 15-20 minutes, Guardiola admits to VG after the match.
The Spaniard is known as one of the most intelligent coaches in the history of football.
– There are probably only two people, such as Arrigo Sacchi in Milan and former Rinus Michels, who have influenced football in the same way, national team manager Staley Solbakken told VG.
One of the reasons is Guardiola’s ability to make teams completely dominate matches. Against Newcastle, Manchester City failed with the plan, which the Spaniard explains why so far. While more than 52,000 spectators loved watching the intense confrontation with quick transfers, Guardiola was critical of his players who often look for early breakthroughs.
– We should have spent more time in the last third. We should have collected more passes there, says the 51-year-old.
Guardiola believes that the interest inherent in Haaland and left winger Phil Foden (22) often in the search for space behind the opponent’s defense contributes to the team’s inability to establish itself long enough in the opponent’s area. According to the city manager, this has many cascading effects. Guardiola believes that with players like Jack Grealish (26), Riyad Mahrez (31) and Bernardo Silva (28) on the wings, the balance could be better.
– Erling sticks in the back room, Phil is also aggressive. If Jack, Riad and Bernardo play there, they are more calm and help us all calm down. In the first half, when we lost control, that was a bit of a problem. We went on a run and lost the ball and then the rest of the team wasn’t there to get it back. Our four backs were too far away.
While critics of Guardiola’s philosophy describe football in his teams as boring and stressful, the Spaniard sees tactics in a completely different way. By keeping the ball in the team for a longer period of time, the defensive unit is able to close the spaces to the midfield, while the attacking players get a chance to find the best positions in attack. If the team then loses the ball, they will be so close to each other that the players can apply effective collective pressure on the opponent and give them the opportunity to dominate again.
In several periods of the match against Newcastle, City failed to do so, giving fast strikers such as Allan Saint-Maximin (25) and Callum Wilson (30) plenty of space to play.
– Players like Saint-Maximin can then take the ball, rise and accelerate towards us. But it wasn’t like we played too badly. We created many opportunities. Then we have to praise Newcastle. When we meet players who are as good as they are, this can happen. We have to live with such situations. That’s what makes the Premier League so difficult, says Guardiola.
In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, Haaland talks about the role of the spearhead.
In modern football there are many matches and matches. that’s sweet. I like that – but I also like that a winger goes ahead and scores a goal. This can be done simply and easily sometimes. I think the “number 9” in football today should be able to handle both parts of the game, says Haaland.
You know, he grew up watching the Premier League on TV – and he made his remarks.
– In recent years, it has become less and less common to have a large number nine. So, you better be one now. I’ve always wanted to be a striker. I love my site, says Haaland, who wants to develop his qualities.
You can’t stop looking for new ways to improve. Look at Karim Benzema. He is 34 years old and has evolved into a better player in recent years. It is very good. I want to be like this too
Read also: Guardiola explains Haaland’s transformation
In the past two seasons, Guardiola has chosen to use the so-called “false nine”. That is, the attacker who initially moves into the distance between the opponent’s defense and the midfield – more than the distance between the goalkeeper and the defense.
When asked by VG about how Guardiola thinks Haaland is changing the way City play with his basic desire to find a back room, the successful coach answered as follows:
– When Haaland went on the field, we (actually) play a fake nine. And in this match, he has one goal and two or three more chances. So he helps us step by step.
– But we should have had better control of the transitions. It makes the game more difficult for us. We need situations like these to see them, talk about them, and practice them in order to get better at them.
Against Newcastle, Haaland played a controversial match, including one goal and a shot that would have gone into the goal if Nick Pope (30) had not made a brilliant save at the last chance. Many of his teammates, on the other hand, did not give the best performance. Midfielder Bernardo Silva (28) believes that the collective error referred to by Guardiola is the reason why City are not doing well.
– It was a very tough match. My impression is that we started to attack very quickly. When we start playing this way, and attack very quickly, it is easier for our opponents. The last 25-30 minutes of the first half were very tough. Newcastle could have scored more than twice in that period, Silva tells the city’s media department.
– We played well, but we couldn’t control their counter-attacks and shots. Then you will be punished. We should have controlled the match better, says the 28-year-old.
Manchester City gets another chance against Crystal Palace. The match starts at 16:00 and will be shown on Viaplay.
note: Here you can watch VG’s broadcast of the Champions League draw, where Manchester City ended up in an interesting group that includes a special Haaland encounter.
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