·7 February 2023
·7 February 2023
Gary Neville, former Manchester United defender and Sky Sports commentator, has expressed his concerns about Manchester City’s performance following their recent loss to Tottenham.
After watching them lose at Tottenham on Sunday, he stated that “something isn’t right at Man City” and that the display was not a typical Pep Guardiola performance.
Neville then questioned his own prediction that City would win the Premier League title this season.
He cited a confusing January, including the departure of Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich and the benching of top players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, and Ilkay Gundogan, as factors contributing to his uncertainty.
Furthermore, City’s typically strong midfield looked out of sorts during the loss to Tottenham, which further raised Neville’s concerns.
Neville said on The Gary Neville podcast, this “was not a Pep Guardiola performance” before adding, “Something isn’t right at Man City. It just feels a little bit strange at the moment.
“I’m less sure about City because of what has happened in this past week
“The Cancelo incident, the leaving out of (Kevin) De Bruyne, (Ruben) Dias and (Aymeric) Laporte are still stuck on the bench, (Ilkay) Gundogan being on the bench today – it all feels a bit odd.
“He’s a genius Pep Guardiola and this is a moment in time – but he isn’t beyond criticism. This is a very odd period in terms of what’s going on. They are not right. That was not a Pep Guardiola performance.”
City have already lost four games this season, which is more than the entirety of the 2021-22 season when they won the title by a single point ahead of Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola himself publicly stated that his players cannot think about defending their crown and are just focusing on the next game.
“It’s important for us to be close and to leave fifth, which is Tottenham right now, far away to secure qualification for the Champions League,” Guardiola said.
“The team started really well in many things – but after a mistake we made two weeks again, we repeated it again.
“We are not in the position to think about being champions, just the next game, Aston Villa, we will prepare well and play our game as best as possible.
“Tottenham has a fantastic team and squad and they punish you. They have a lot of quality up front and don’t need much with transitions, set pieces, give a lot of credit to them.”
City faces a midweek trip to the Emirates Stadium on February 15 and will play the reverse game at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, two crucial matches that could decide the title race.
Meanwhile, Man City star Kyle Walker warned Arsenal that there could be many twists and turns to come in the title race. He said is not deterred by City’s recent loss to Tottenham and is confident that the race for the title is far from over.
“Of course it is [a missed opportunity],” Walker told Sky Sports after defeat at Tottenham.
“They [Arsenal] dropped points and we needed to pick up points to close the gap, but there is still a lot of football to be played.
“I have been here many, many years in the Premier League and I know the twists and turns that can happen.
“I know what this team is about. I know what this team can do. We can go on runs from now until the end of the season and it’s just about us doing that really.
“This is the team we’ve got now until the end of the season. We’ll fight until the end.”
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