There was a fiery change within the dressing room after a loss at Tottenham, a number of of his senior gamers complaining that he was too inconsistent along with his workforce choice, complaints that went past the underside chunter of substitutes and fringe gamers.
It intensified this summer time, when Metropolis had been handed by Lyon within the Champions League. Because the investigations unfolded within the information media, it emerged that some members of the workforce had been beginning to hesitate of their loyalty to their coach, who felt he had shot himself within the again. foothold within the competitors he dreamed of greater than another. an excessive amount of time.
Guardiola appeared to acknowledge him. He at all times mentioned, in spite of everything, that after 4 years both the gamers have to vary or the supervisor does. He hoped for the primary, asking Metropolis to signal 4 new signings. In the long run, solely three arrived: the membership walked away from a deal to signal Ben Chilwell from Leicester, and left-back Guardiola had demanded by no means to materialize.
This doesn’t instantly appear to resolve the issue. Metropolis misplaced at house to Leicester, tied Leeds, West Ham and Liverpool, then misplaced to Spurs. It was the final straw for Fernandinho, the influential membership captain, who introduced the workforce collectively – “solely the gamers, I attempted to indicate them our duty, what the membership expects, what the followers count on – for some onerous truths.
Guardiola himself waited a couple of extra weeks. After a disheartening draw at house towards relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion in December, he held a conclave along with his important associates: Juanma Lillo, his assistant; Rodolfo Borrell, his first workforce coach; Txiki Begiristain, metropolis soccer director; and Manel Estiarte, the versatile consigliere of Guardiola.
For the primary time, he had discovered himself watching his Metropolis workforce in disgust. “I did not prefer it,” he mentioned later. Influenced by Lillo, particularly, the choice was made to revert to what Guardiola referred to as his “ABC” ideas. “To remain in place, and let the ball run, not you,” Guardiola mentioned.
His status as a visionary, in fact, dictated that the change was interpreted as a tactical innovation: Guardiola had requested his workforce to run much less, or move the ball extra, or make João Cancelo the primary backstroke-No . 10, a place which we hope will sooner or later be generally known as the “false two”.