Shearer Says: “Guardiola will still be saying to his squad that they’re in with a chance”
Despite some poor results, Shearer thinks Guardiola will still have his eye on the title…
Pep Guardiola came out after the Everton defeat and said his side were out of the title hunt, but I don’t suspect for a minute that he means that. He’ll still be saying to his squad that if they go on a run of seven or eight victories, they are in with a chance. If someone was to ask me can Chelsea lose three or four games from now until the end of the season, the answer would be yes they could. In the big matches, the top six clubs can takes points off each other.
However, it’s unlikely that City can win the league as it is very rare that a team who has won the title has conceded the goals they have – four against Everton, four against Leicester, and lets not forget four in the Champions League against Barcelona as well – and if City continue to defend like they did against Everton, they have absolutely no chance of winning the title. As a result they have conceded more goals than any other club in the top seven so far, that is just not title winning defending.
“I’d be amazed if he was given another chance…”
Every manager is entitled to make a decision on a goalkeeping situation like Guardiola did when he arrived at the club, and for whatever reason, Pep didn’t fancy Joe Hart. We don’t know if he spent any time with him but presumably he studied videos of the player and would have seen him play. What was clear though is he didn’t want him from the start as he did not even give him a chance. The problem is as far as Claudio Bravo is concerned, Pep has not brought a goalkeeper in who makes saves, which let’s face it is the first job a ‘keeper should be doing. I can’t remember at any point where he has pulled off a great stop.
I know he changed his stance on Yaya Toure, but I’d be amazed if he was to give Joe Hart another chance at Manchester City. It would be pretty embarrassing for him and the football club if he was welcomed back and given another shot at it.
The back five, which includes the goalkeeper, just look confused to me against Everton. Every defender that played looked nervous and they did not really know what they were doing. I know I criticised John Stones on Match of the Day but it frankly could have been any of them, Phil Neville singling out Otamendi.
“Claudio Bravo isn’t in the same category as other title winning ‘keepers…”
If you go through all the title winning sides since the Premier League started, the one common theme is that they have all had a very good ‘keeper. Peter Schmeichel was immense for Man United, his son was excellent for Leicester last season. When we won it with Blackburn Tim Flowers had a great campaign, Petr Cech played a key role for Chelsea and David Seaman and Lehmann were key for Arsenal. And not forgetting Joe Hart’s part in City’s title wins. Claudio Bravo is just not in that category.
I think we have seen enough of Pep to say he is unlikely to change his principles, even if they have not quite worked out for him so far in the Premier League. He’ll go and spend an absolute fortune in the summer to bring in the player he wants. He has already spent a lot of money but he needs to go and do that again, particularly defensively where they are simply not good enough.
“I don’t think Mourinho’s reputation has been damaged at Man Utd…”
I’ve never considered Manchester United a front runner in the title race. This season was about getting back into the top four for them. They are on a great run at the moment. They have a bit of swagger back under Jose, but the problem they have is that they are chasing five sides which tells me the title might just be out of reach for them.
When you have the record Pep Guardiola has and when you consider the rebuilding job Jose Mourinho was faced with at Old Trafford, I don’t think their reputations have been dented as some people have claimed. They will get the opportunity to turn it around and the exciting thing is both clubs will spend a fortune in the summer, meaning we’ll get to see even more superstars in the Premier League next season.
“Payet’s behaviour at West Ham has been disgusting…”
Dimitri Payet has caused outrage this week with the way he has tried to force a move away from West Ham. First and foremost, everyone is entitled to ask to leave, however you have to do it the right way. You cannot say – “I am refusing to play and train, get me out of here.” That is disgusting behaviour, and is totally disrespectful, not only for your teammates but also the club and fans who pay money to watch you. What makes it even worse is he recently signed a new contract, and he was given loyalty bonuses as well, so it’s no surprise to see some of the anger which has come his way.
I accept that loyalty is a two way thing, and if the club want to get rid of you, they’ll find a way to do that, but the way Payet is handling his business here is not the way to do things.
Players have had too much power for a long time now, it hasn’t just happened this season. When the big money came in, the pendulum swung towards the players. With the wealth that the big clubs have, they can leave players to rot in the reserves if they wanted to, they could force them to train with the kids where nobody would hear of see them for the next three years. The problem is the club has to still pay them and if they are on £150,000 a week, it is a messy situation for both parties. If the player is adamant he wants to leave, you have to just get the best price and get rid of them out of your football club before it affects the dressing room.