"I think it's wrong" - John Giles analyses Man City's risky attempts to play out from the back
Pep Guardiola's side were beaten convincingly by Barcelona on Wednesday21:27 Thursday 20 October 2016, 21:27 20 Oct 2016
It's Pep Guardiola's favoured approach to the game in terms of playing out from the back as often as possible.
But the willingness to play with fire consistently backfired against Barcelona as Guardiola's Manchester City side went down 4-0 at the Nou Camp in Wednesday night's Champions League group game.
Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was signed mainly because of what he can do with the ball at his feet but ended up getting sent off for handling outside the box.
As for the risk-taking at the back when in possession, John Giles is not impressed as he told Off The Ball.
"I just think it's wrong. A goalkeeper's main job obviously is to stop goals. That's his main thing. If he's good with his feet it's a bonus," he said.
"I always believed in playing out from the back but do it in a sensible way and I don't think it was done in a sensible way from Manchester City's point of view. I think it's too risky.
"I think they're playing out to full-backs who are more or less marked. They're being put under pressure, so I think it's wrong. That's my take on it."
John believes it is down to Guardiola to tweak that approach now.
"So it's definitely the manager's influence who is telling the goalkeeper, regardless of what anyone else is saying 'this is what I want you to do'. Now, I believe from the start, that is wrong. When you play the ball out to full-backs, if they were that good with their feet, they'd be playing in midfield. It's just wrong and the match at Spurs actually proved that. Spurs got tight on them all the time and totally out-played Manchester City. In other words, you don't gamble in football. If the goalkeeper has to get it out, he has to get it out. If the centre back has to get it out, he's got to get it out. So I think he's wrong and I think it will be proven to be wrong," he said.
John also questioned why Guardiola dropped Sergio Aguero from his XI to face Barcelona and saw the decision as "nonsense".
He also believes that if both Man City and Manchester United continue on their current developments under Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, it will be the red half of Manchester that finishes highest in the Premier League because of the organisational and defensive skills of the Portuguese manager.
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