Guardiola Mocked ‘Mad Professor’
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is beginning to come across as the “mad professor.”
That’s after dropping star man Kevin De Bruyne for Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Tottenham in the English Premiership football. City arrived in north London needing a win to close the gap on title rivals Arsenal.
The Gunners suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday. And victory for Guardiola’s men would have seen them squeeze Arsenal’s lead to just two points.
However, City stunned fans and pundits when De Bruyne was named among the subs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Guardiola also tweaked his tactics to a bizarre 3-2-3-2 formation, with young full-back Rico Lewis in midfield instead of the Belgian.
But the gamble failed to pay off as Harry Kane’s record goal secured a 1-0 win for the hosts. Guardiola put on a touchline spectacle throughout the 90 minutes as he protested every decision. And Chris Sutton reckons the Spaniard is starting to resemble a “mad professor” due to his crazy team selection and sideline antics.
The ex-English Premier League star firstly believes Guardiola’s decision to loan star defender Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich was “madness.” But dropping playmaker De Bruyne for a must-win game was unforgivable.
Sutton told the Mail: “Dropping Kevin De Bruyne for a game you need to win to move within two points of Arsenal? Madness. “Pep Guardiola is trying very hard to come across as the mad professor with the decisions he’s making.
“Right now, they aren’t doing City much good. He side aren’t carrying that air of superiority we’ve seen from them in the past. “Arsenal lost to Everton and yet City didn’t seize their opportunity on Sunday like champions-in-waiting should. “I still can’t wrap my head around Cancelo.
City are worse off without Cancelo. They lost him and lost to Tottenham while he was winning with Bayern. “This was a damaging day and one which showed City have a lot of work to do if they are to overtake Arsenal.”
And Guardiola admitted his Manchester City side missed a major opportunity in the title race as their Tottenham hoodoo continued on Sunday. The current English Premier League champions slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Spurs as Harry Kane netter the winner to become the club’s all-time leading scorer.
With Arsenal suffering a shock loss at Everton on Saturday, the defeat arrived as a huge blow to City’s hopes of overhauling the Gunners’ five point lead at the top of the league.
On whether the defeat was dropped chance for his side in the title race, Guardiola responded: ‘’Yes of course because Arsenal have dropped few, few points so far. ‘’So 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.
‘’The team started really well in many things – but after a mistake we made two weeks again, we repeated it again.’’ On his team’s recent record at Spurs, the City boss added: ‘’Sooner or later it is going to change, but it is strange we haven’t scored one goal, we have missed penalties in the past.
‘’To find an explanation is not easy. ‘’We found the positions, made good balls to the channels, but missed the last action up front. ‘’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 dominated for large parts of the game, but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities — and Guardiola added: ‘’Most of the time, yes, they followed the plan. But it is not easy when 10 players defend, and sit back a little bit more than in the Etihad two weeks ago. ‘’We played good, started well and missed maybe the last pass, to shoot.’’
Kevin de Bruyne started another game on the bench, but was introduced in the second half as City searched for an equaliser. Guardiola said before the game that his decision to omit the Belgian from his starting XI was tactical.