Sport Pep Guardiola: It's time for Manchester City to struggle
Silva starred against Arsenal and can ease burden on de Bruyne
JACK GAUGHAN: When Bernardo Silva hopped off his jet in 2017, he wore the look of another creative midfielder who had just lifted the World Cup and arrived hungover seven years prior. Around Manchester City, they earmarked the Portuguese in beach gear as the one who would eventually take over from David Silva. A little scuttling pickpocket who also owns the combination to the opposition’s safe, someone stronger than his frame suggests and with the attitude to rough it in England.That is where he was on Saturday night. Bang in the middle of it, patrolling from Silva’s old station.
Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City are doing "absolutely everything" in tough circumstances as they fell further off the pace in the Premier League with a 1-1 draw against West Ham.
Phil Foden came off the bench to cancel out Michail Antonio's brilliant overhead kick but City were unable to force a winner as Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez spurned late chances.
A return of eight points from five matches is the club's worst start to a campaign since 2014-15, when they struggled as defending Premier League champions under Manuel Pellegrini.
Foden entered the action in place of Sergio Aguero, who sustained a hamstring injury having started three games in a week on his return from meniscus surgery.
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao hits out at Man City manager Guardiola
Sergio Conceicao and Pep Guardiola were seen arguing on the touchline on several occasions during Manchester City's 3-1 win against Porto in their Champions League Group C fixture.The duo were seen arguing on the touchline on several occasions during City's 3-1 win against the Portuguese side over a number of refereeing decisions.
Aguero was pressed into such frequent action due to Gabriel Jesus being sidelined, while left-sided defenders Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake and Benjamin Mendy were all unavailable at London Stadium.
Fernandinho is set to miss the next six weeks after pulling up during the closing stages of Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win over Porto, while Laporte, Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan have all tested positive for coronavirus this season.
PEP onA muscular (injury).
Hamstring I think. Tomorrow we will know.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) |
Guardiola was able to give Kevin De Bruyne a return from the bench but concedes the compressed nature of this season after reaching the final stages of the Champions League in August is taking a toll.
Guardiola denies suggestions that talks over new City deal have begun
Guardiola, whose deal runs out in June, denied suggestions that he had opened negotiations with the club's hierarchy over an extension on Friday - the Catalan is yet to commit either way.Guardiola, whose deal runs out in June, denied suggestions that he had opened negotiations with the club's hierarchy over an extension on Friday.
"I would prefer to have results, but I have to analyse the situation we're in," he told a post-match news conference.
"We struggle for the many injuries, the lack of preparation and no recovery time between the incredibly tough games we've played so far.
"The players did absolutely everything, gave everything on the pitch. They fought and were incredibly tired at the end."
Guardiola accepted the depth of talent in his squad means sympathy will be in short supply.
He continued: "Of course, there is plenty of quality. I'm not complaining about that. I could complain about the first goal of West Ham [Tomas Soucek appeared to handle in the build-up] but I did not say anything.
"We struggled with just one or two weeks for preparation, we had guys with COVID, we did not have enough regeneration for the players.
"Our striker [Jesus] was injured in the first game against Wolves, could not play more. Sergio came back after four or five months, Kevin was injured, Gundo this was the first time he could play 90 minutes.
Pep: Aguero willing to apologise to Massey-Ellis
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero would apologise to Sian Massey-Ellis if the official "felt bad" about the striker touching her shoulder. Aguero came under fire after the incident, which took place during City's 1-0 home win over Arsenal, but the match officials did not believe any formal action was required.Guardiola played the situation down last week and said: "Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations not in this one.
"To play three competitions every three days, you need all the squad. If you don't have all the squad it is more difficult.
"This year we finished and started later than usual. They needed a break. I'm not saying this is the reason why, I'm just putting on the table what our situation is.
"It's time to struggle, we knew it. Don't drop many points and continue. This is the reality."
Opposite number David Moyes, who lost his own striker Antonio to a hamstring complaint during the second period, acknowledged Guardiola is in a tricky spot.
A thing of beauty!— West Ham United (@WestHam)
"I think that Manchester City are probably slightly different to us, as they went to the quarter-finals of the Champions League," he said.
"We were having some sort of holiday time. We had a mini pre-season if you want to call it that. Manchester City haven't.
"With the international players having to play three games a week ago and three games coming up and the amount of club games coming up at the moment, it's going to take its toll somewhere along the line.
"In the Championship you become immune to it, but I think for the Premier League players, with the speed and the tempo of the games, I do think they're liable to be injuries if we're not careful."
Antonio will have a scan to assess his problem, which also hindered him during last weekend's dramatic 3-3 draw at Tottenham.
'He is an incredible finisher': Pep Guardiola hails Ferran Torres .
A central role was not what Pep Guardiola envisaged when City spent half of their Leroy Sane loot on Torres, a winger with a bright future but not expected to make an immediate impact. © Provided by Daily Mail Ferran Torres played as a striker and impressed Pep Guardiola for Manchester City on Saturday © Provided by Daily Mail Torres caused issues for the hosts as City picked up what could prove to be a vital three points Injuries quickly mounted, however. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were again absent on Saturday, as in Marseille last week.