The clock is ticking, Pep! Guardiola’s final season at Man City will be his toughest yet

The Manchester City boss has had a short time to turn around his side after Premier League disappointment was followed by European despair
Pep Guardiola is entering unknown territory, facing up to one of the toughest challenges of his brilliant coaching career to date.


For the first time, the Manchester City boss will start his fifth season at the same club, making this first ever rebuilding job, after last season’s underachievement in both the Premier League and Champions League.
An 18-point deficit to runaway English champions Liverpool was bad enough, but the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal and European exit to Lyon made it clear that even average opponents are no longer afraid of Guardiola’s once-intimidating side.

The Manchester City boss has had a short time to turn around his side after Premier League disappointment was followed by European despair
Pep Guardiola is entering unknown territory, facing up to one of the toughest challenges of his brilliant coaching career to date.
For the first time, the Manchester City boss will start his fifth season at the same club, making this first ever rebuilding job, after last season’s underachievement in both the Premier League and Champions League.
An 18-point deficit to runaway English champions Liverpool was bad enough, but the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal and European exit to Lyon made it clear that even average opponents are no longer afraid of Guardiola’s once-intimidating side.

The 20-year-old is a direct replacement for Sane, who was sorely missed last year. City lacked a forward with his speed, directness and ability to stretch the pitch.
There are likely to be more reinforcements before the transfer window closes on October 5, with Senegalese centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly still a top target, even if negotiations with Napoli are progressing slowly.
Guardiola was guarded in his first news conference of the new season and didn’t want to discuss the club’s transfer business in too much detail, particularly as he was speaking for the first about the possibility of signing Messi.
But he insisted he was happy with his lot.
“Since I arrived here, I’m more than satisfied in the team, and the club always does their best, not just for me but for the team,” he said.
“Even if we have to stay with the players we have, I’ll be happy, and if we have to move someone on, maybe that’s because it is the player that decides to leave.
“I’ve never complained before and I never will. I’m lucky to have these players and be at this club. That’s it.”
However, Guardiola will undoubtedly demand more from those that underperformed last season, with the onus on Benjamin Mendy to nail down the problematic left-back spot, and Bernardo Silva needing to rediscover his best form.
The loss of David Silva will be keenly felt but Phil Foden is ready to take over his role and Gabriel Jesus must now show he can be the full-time successor to Sergio Aguero, as the injury-prone City legend enters his final 12 months of his contract.
Rivals have strengthened and it would be difficult to argue that Liverpool do not have the best starting XI in the Premier League.
However, City arguably possess the deepest squad and, in the shortest season in Premier League history, that could be crucial.
“My feeling is good as always,” Guardiola said. “It’s a joy to work with these players at this club, so the feeling is good like it always was.”
With the clock ticking on Guardiola’s time at the Etihad Stadium, one thing is for certain, he will do everything to leave the club as a winner.

Source; Goal.com

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