Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists he won’t alter his playing style and attacked Manchester United’s approach of playing long balls ahead of his side’s visit to West Bromwich Albion this week
Guardiola continued to firmly stand by his style of play, asserting that the Citizens will always aim to execute quick, direct passes instead of aimless long balls. Taking aim at Manchester United’s reliance on the long ball strategy in the midweek EFL Cup clash, Guardiola maintained that his side will never fall back on playing aimless hoofs in search of a desperate goal.
As reported by Goal, Guardiola said: “The strikers that we have, with Kelechi, Kun Aguero, when the opponent comes [to press] you have to use that pass, more direct but not long ball because they are not going to win one [duel]. We don’t have strikers strong enough to play in that way. So we have to create the space to pass the ball – not to use the long ball because I don’t want to play [them].”
Manchester United beat their city rivals 1-0 at Old Trafford in the fourth round EFL Cup tie on Wednesday night, thanks to a Juan Mata goal midway through the second half. And as Guardiola was questioned on his side’s struggle to cope with the tactics imposed by Jose Mourinho, the City boss appeared to take a dig at the Red Devils’ approach.
“The goal for United it was long ball, long ball, long ball, long ball, lose the ball in the duels, score the goal,” he said before continuing, So sometimes you concede a goal because you have to build up and after like this. And sometimes you use the long balls you concede a goal as well.”
The focus, though, shifts to football once again as Guardiola takes his side to the Hawthorns later today. And with City in the middle of their worst run since December 2008, the Catalan man will be desperate to reverse the winless run that has taken a hit on his side’s confidence.
City have failed to win a game in six, with three losses and as many draws bringing their early season winning momentum to a grinding halt. And with Tony Pulis’ side relying on similar long ball tactics to put pressure on their opponents, Guardiola can expect more of the same that saw his side crash to the midweek defeat.