3 Areas Manchester City Need To Strengthen Ahead Of Next Season
Manchester City has ended the season on a reasonably high note. The Premier League and Football League Cup are significant achievements. However, the revolution under Pep Guardiola has just started progressing, and there is a lot more we can expect. Pep will have one eye on the treble in the coming seasons, and more importantly the Champions League.
There is no doubt that Manchester City juggernaut will roll as a well drilled confident unit next season. But the season will pose new and varied challenges. Title contenders will learn from what Liverpool did to disturb Manchester City’s build-up play and will try to ruffle Sky Blues’ tiki-taka style of play. The other teams who might not be confident to go neck and neck with Premier League champions will focus on parking the bus, which has posed a tough nut to crack for City this season.
Whatever be the approach, Manchester City is the team to beat, and every club will carefully watch and plan their well-knit strategy to face the best team in England, if not Europe. Pep’s men will be wary of the challenges that lie ahead. Fatigue was a significant factor that affected the Cityzens in the season that has just ended. The kind of passing, patient build-up football that the Cityzens play is exceptionally taxing and demands high levels of concentration.
Players need adequate rest between games. With Sky Blues going strong for all the major competitions, availability of sufficient replacements will be crucial to success. The bench strength will be tested in the long gruelling season.
On top of that, the upcoming season is going to be fascinating as Manchester City’s players will be involved in the World Cup and will be joining the pre-season with a minimal break.
Given the high-intensity football that the Cityzens play, here are three key positions that Pep Guardiola might want to beef up ahead of the long and exciting season, and the promising future that beckons Manchester City Football Club and its fans.
#1 Central Midfield
The first player whom the Manager would add to the team sheet for any major game would be Fernandinho, a constant for Manchester City in the Premier League winning season. He has been City’s most dependable and pivotal player this season and has shielded the defence pretty well amid rotating centre-backs.
The workload Fernandinho has carried, and the shifts he has put in has been phenomenal. Fernandinho deserves to start for the Canarinho at the World Cup ahead of Real Madrid’s Casemiro.
However, the central midfield job that he undertakes demands a lot of effort and concentration, which means that he cannot be playing a role in all the tournaments and deserves much-needed breaks in between.
Manchester City does not have a like-for-like replacement and has been using Ilkay Gundogan in the Fernandinho role. To Gundogan’s credit, he has put in a decent shift whenever required. However, Gundogan is more of a deputy for Kevin De Bruyne and is better used as a creative player linking up in build-up plays.
There are reports linking the Cityzens with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred this season. Fred is similar to Fernandinho in terms of playing style and can prove to be an able deputy. The central midfielder has enjoyed a good season with Shakhtar, and if reports are accurate, Manchester United too have an eye on him.
Fred will be linking up with Manchester City’s Brazilian quartet at the Mundial and could be on course to make it a quintet, next season.