Paddy Mulligan: "From the very start Pep Guardiola has misread what the Premier League is all about"

Ex-Ireland defender talks team selection and defensive frailty after Man City's heavy defeat at Everton

BY Raf Diallo 16:50 Monday 16 January 2017, 16:50 16 Jan 2017

Picture by Peter Byrne PA Wire/PA Images

Former Ireland and Chelsea defender Paddy Mulligan believes Pep Guardiola has "misread what the Premier League is all about" as his Manchester City side's title aspirations evaporate. 

After a good start to the domestic season on a wave of expectation, City have crumbled away from home against bigger teams with Liverpool and Tottenham having previously beaten them away from the Etihad.

But the nadir came on Sunday as Everton thrashed City 4-0 at Goodison Park to leave Guardiola's side outside the Top 4 after 21 games of the season.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach's team selection (full back Pablo Zabaleta in midfield for instance) as well as defensive shortcomings and errors from the likes of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have come under increasing scrutiny.

Mulligan feels that it is finally dawning on the two time Champions League winning manager what he has let himself in for by taking over at City.

"Guardiola again has got his team selection all wrong, has misread the situation and from the very start has misread what the Premier League is all about," he told me.

"It's all very good having the likes of Iniesta and Xavi and Messi in your Barcelona team and Puyol at the back and Busquets. Wonderful, wonderful players. You couldn't go wrong.

"Now, he has to manage and the questions are being asked. He can't manage, at this moment in time, in the Premier League and that's what I was fearful for him at the start of the season when people were saying City are going to win the league easily and they had that great start as well.

"I went and said that Chelsea would win the league because of [Antonio] Conte but also because of the fact that they do have a lot of quality players. And Conte is a magnificent manager."

In our full chat, Paddy also talks about Man United v Liverpool, the Diego Costa and Dimitri Payet situations at Chelsea and West Ham respectively, as well as Alexis Sanchez sulking when he was given a rest against Swansea:

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week