It is the recurring accusation that Pep Guardiola has accompanied for years: he turns his players perfectly functioning robots – but suddenly they would get droppers when it comes to overcoming resistances. In short: his teams lack the character and personality in crucial moments.
When Manchester City came to the Champions League final at Real Madrid in a dramatic way last week, this criticism became loud again; Guardiola’s highly paid eleven had an extension without plan and emotion. The Catalane stopped on Friday.
The most recent Premier League games against Newcastle (5: 0) and in Wolverhampton (5: 1) were won with “the same character and the same personality” that “with which we have lost in Madrid in the last two or three minutes”, emphasized Guardiola.
Guardiola is reminiscent of the 2009 and 2011 end games
Among other things, ex-professionals Patrice Evra (“He cannot train people with personality”) and Dimitar Berbatov (“This is inexplicable”) more or less Guardiola critically analyzed this. Its counterattack: “I played against these players. And I didn’t see this form of personality when I destroyed it when we destroyed it in the Champions League final against United.”
In 2009 and 2011, Guardiola won the premier class with FC Barcelona against Manchester United around Evra and Berbatov – his last triumph so far in this competition.
You can’t have “no” personality in games like in Madrid and suddenly an “incredible” one, if you score 22 goals in four games like Mancity in the league, Guardiola says. At least it looks like the realm of his team to become a master again: On Saturday (3 p.m., live! At Guardiola), City can take the penultimate step at West Ham.