Guardiola accused of copying Sir Alex Ferguson’s tactic as Man City chase Arsenal in title race
The manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, has been alleged to have adopted a strategy previously used by Sir Alex Ferguson during his time as manager at Manchester United. This tactic is being used as Manchester City attempts to catch up to Arsenal.
According to Graeme Souness, a Liverpool legend, Pep Guardiola has replicated an old tactic used by Sir Alex Ferguson during his tenure as Manchester United manager, as Manchester City tries to close the gap on Arsenal. Souness alleges that Guardiola’s management of Kevin De Bruyne is reminiscent of how Ferguson used to handle situations at United.
Guardiola recently criticized De Bruyne’s performance, stating that the Belgian needs to improve his game and focus on doing the basics well. De Bruyne had been left out of the team in a few recent matches.
Similarly, Guardiola also called on Erling Haaland to improve his game. Haaland responded with a fantastic performance, scoring five goals against RB Leipzig. De Bruyne also stepped up his game in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.
Souness believes that Guardiola’s tactic of pushing his star players to improve is a deliberate strategy to motivate other players in the squad to step up their game. He claims that Ferguson used a similar approach with players like David Beckham and Ryan Giggs at Manchester United.
In an article for the Mail, Souness wrote that Kevin De Bruyne has been Manchester City’s standout player for the past five years. However, this season, he has been left out of some significant matches.
“I was at the one City lost at Spurs in February, for example, and he didn’t start that day. Strange. And now Guardiola has dug him out a little in public. This week he said De Bruyne had to get back to doing the simple things well.
“I have my theories about why this may have happened. It could be part of a deliberate tactic aimed at motivating the whole squad.
“Someone told me that Sir Alex Ferguson used to do this with Ryan Giggs. He would deliberately pick on him and sometimes David Beckham in front of the other Manchester United players.
“It would send the squad a message that nobody – even the two best players at the club – was safe from criticism. It would help to make sure a talented group of footballers kept their feet on the ground.
“So maybe Guardiola is doing that. Maybe he is poking De Bruyne in order to make sure the rest are ready to up their levels ahead of the most important part of a season that has not always felt easy for them. For all I know, De Bruyne may even be in on it.”
Manchester City is currently five points behind Arsenal in the Premier League title race. The last time Arsenal finished on top of the league was in 2004, during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at Manchester United.
Manchester City’s next league match is scheduled for April 1, and in the meantime, Arsenal has the opportunity to extend their lead to eight points if they win their upcoming match against Crystal Palace on Sunday.