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About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2018/19 season.

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Shearer says: “Guardiola missed an opportunity with his subs.”

Coral ambassador mulls over Pep’s Burnley decision

Pep Guardiola reckoned he didn’t have enough players to fill the bench when Man City played Burnley last week.

Let’s be honest, he’s not getting any sympathy is he? 

What sort of message is that sending out to the young players at City, the youngsters working hard to get near the first team? 

He said he didn’t want to take a young player because the Under-23s had a game on Friday, but so what? 

A young player travelling with the first team, being in the dressing room, sitting on the bench, would learn far more than he would playing a match with his age group, absolutely no doubt about that. 

If I was a youth player, under-21, 23, whatever, somewhere close to the first team and I saw the manager only picking six subs, I’d be thinking, what on Earth is going on here? What chance have I got?

Also, who is Pep trying to send a message to?  He surely can’t be sending a message to his board, as he’s had more money and has a bigger squad than anyone else. 

Or is he trying to send a message to the FA, saying my players have been kicked too much, I haven’t got enough players available? 

I just do not know what he was trying to achieve by only naming six subs.

We do not want to see bad tackles in our game, and there have been a few this season, but there always will be, that is part of our game. 

Man City have been better and quicker  than any other team this season, and I’m not saying teams are setting out to kick them, but you have to find a way of stopping them. 

No one wants to see players get hurt, but the physical side of it is part of our game, along with the pace and the passion and it’s what sets our league apart.

We have seen several bad tackles on City players, Kevin De Bruyne at Crystal Palace, Leroy Sane against Cardiff, Jesus also.

We don’t want to see it but it happens. But they aren’t the only ones targeted.  I’m not excusing it, but at the end of the day Pep has a big squad and he has to deal with it.