HomePREMIER LEAGUEPep Guardiola's brutal Kevin De Bruyne strategy against Tottenham sends a warning...

Pep Guardiola’s brutal Kevin De Bruyne strategy against Tottenham sends a warning signal to the entire Manchester City side.


Pep Guardiola’s brutal Kevin De Bruyne strategy against Tottenham sends a warning signal to the entire Manchester City side.

Manchester City visited Tottenham in the Premier League, hoping to bounce back from consecutive defeats.

Manchester City aren’t used to dismal or even indifferent runs. Even when they lose points, they frequently create chances, and the belief that the only team that can truly beat City is City itself remains true.

However, in the eight games coming up to Thursday’s encounter against Tottenham, City had lost three and drawn one, with some unimpressive performances to match. They just managed one shot on goal in their previous two defeats.

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Pep Guardiola went out of his way on Wednesday to emphasize the importance of City’s recent goal-scoring struggles were his fault and not his players, and indicated that he had a clear idea to rediscover their rhythm. Although few could have expected that dropping talisman Kevin De Bruyne would be part of the masterplan.

Guardiola suggested last week that a change in style and just bringing the ball into the box more for their number nine could end Erling Haaland’s three-game goal drought. Even while he eventually admitted blame for the failure to occur, he made it clear that his players were ultimately responsible for carrying out those methods.

To that end, Guardiola took a number of bold decisions against Tottenham, most notably omitting De Bruyne in order to insert extra body into the box in the form of Julian Alvarez.

It was only De Bruyne’s second Premier League appearance of the season, but Alvarez was also on the bench artnered Haaland and the pair scored five goals between them against Nottingham Forest in City’s biggest win of the season. Maybe that was behind the selection, as Guardiola would explain Alvarez was picked to add another body in the box.

Guardiola has also stated that City must generate more in favor for Haaland to better their record of one shot on goal in two games, as well as Haaland’s ‘drought’ of two-and-a-half games without a goal. In his program notes on Thursday, he mentioned fighting for “absolutely everything” and competing in every game to have a great season.

So De Bruyne’s sacrifice to make those things happen speaks a lot about Guardiola’s thoughts on City’s current dip. De Bruyne is normally regarded as impenetrable and trusted to guide City back into shape, particularly in the mentality department, where he cannot be questioned. Guardiola has now dropped him in order to generate the reaction he desires.

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Not only does that raise a question of De Bruyne’s creative form, but also his ability to fight as Guardiola wanted. In the first half, City were crying out for De Bruyne’s temperament and eye for a pass in the final third, as their play looked relatively similar to recent outings despite the number of changes.

Despite conceding twice in first-half injury time, City came out with a point to prove, doing everything Guardiola wanted – upping the tempo, getting men in the box, and delivering the service.

City were level in an instant, and they had done so without De Bruyne or other creatives like Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva. The comeback was complete when Riyad Mahrez danced into the area and caught Hugo Lloris out at the near post, and De Bruyne was not required off the bench.

Of course, removing the Belgian might be due to Sunday’s home game against Wolves, or his missed day of training during the week could have hampered his fitness. . Nevertheless, this was the first Premier League game of the season he’s not featured in at City’s halfway point of the season.

Or it may have been an effort to tell De Bruyne and everyone else that under Guardiola, no one is safe from scrutiny. It took some time, but the Blues looked alright without their star creator against the Spurs.

Pep Guardiola’s brutal Kevin De Bruyne strategy against Tottenham sends a warning signal to the entire Manchester City side.

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