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Why Pep Guardiola’s second season at Manchester City could be worse than his first

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has come in for a lot of criticism following a disappointing first season at the club – admitting himself that he was lucky to be keeping his job this summer.

While many believe he’ll amend the mistakes made in 2016/17, Pep could endure even more disappointment in his second season than he has in his first at Manchester City given the work needing to be done in the summer.

Large player turnover could lead to disjointed side

Manchester City will be parting company with a large number of players this summer as many are at the end of their contracts. The Sky Blues will have a lot of new faces in the squad next season as a result, and the large-scale changes made within a team can often have an adverse effect on and off the pitch.

Man City’s out-of-contract players this summer

  • Jesus Navas
  • Yaya Toure
  • Pablo Zabaleta
  • Gael Clichy
  • Bacary Sagna
  • Willy Caballero

With Willy Caballero being Manchester City’s first-choice goalkeeper for the second-half of this season, the Citizens may need another shot-stopper in the summer if he leaves at the end of his contract. City will need a new left-back if Gael Clichy is allowed to exit the Etihad Stadium when his deal expires at the end of the season. The French defender has played more games at left-back than anyone else, but his exit will mean another new face will have to be brought in.

Pablo Zabaleta has already announced he’s leaving, and another right-back in Bacary Sagna is expected to join him. The latter is 34 years of age and made only 14 Premier League starts in 2016/17. Jesus Navas is also out of contract and has filled in at right-back at times so City may need two new faces coming in to fill this position, should Fernandinho be relieved of his duties in defence.

Yaya Toure has operated as the deepest lying midfielder for Manchester City for half of the season and would be a loss to the side should he exit at the end of his contract. The 34-year-old is reportedly in talks with the Sky Blues over a one-year deal, but as things stand he could be one of six players gone and in need of replacing at the end of the campaign. Such a turnover of players could be disastrous.

No real indication Pep has yet adapted

Many believe Pep Guardiola has learned his lessons from a difficult first season in charge of Manchester City, but the side’s form in 2017 would suggest otherwise. Of the 26 games played in all competitions since the turn of the year, the Citizens have failed to win 11. And in their last 12 games in all competitions, City have won only five. Results against the elite sides have been inconsistent too.

  • (10/9/16) Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • (2/10/16) Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • (15/10/16) Manchester City 1-1 Everton (Premier League)
  • (19/10/16) Barcelona 4-0 Manchester City (Champions League)
  • (26/10/16) Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City (EFL Cup)
  • (1/11/16) Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona (Champions League)
  • (3/12/16) Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea (Premier League)
  • (18/12/16) Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal (Premier League)
  • (31/12/16) Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • (15/1/17) Everton 4-0 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • (21/1/17) Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham (Premier League)
  • (21/2/17) Manchester City 5-3 Monaco (Champions League)
  • (15/3/17) AS Monaco 3-1 Manchester City (Champions League)
  • (19/3/17) Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
  • (2/4/17) Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • (5/4/17) Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • (23/4/17) Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (FA Cup)
  • (27/4/17) Manchester City 0-0 Manchester United (Premier League)

Guardiola has never finished so low with any of his former clubs at senior level. The Spaniard has also not seen his team finish with such a low points tally which must be a concern. Finally, in terms of rebuilding jobs, I doubt he’s undertaken such a big job before, and turning things around won’t be easy.

Can Pep really turn Man City around next season?

About Crippy Cooke

Long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and a poor man's Romelu Lukaku on the amateur football field. In addition to being a weekly football accumulator enthusiast, Crippy's an afficionado on the Premier League and top European divisions. He boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.
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