Pep Guardiola Confident For Man City Title Run-in
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England hero Gary Lineker has struck out at Patrice Evra over the former Manchester United star’s scathing attack on Pep Guardiola. The Manchester City boss was accused of not being able to coach players with personality as the club’s pursuit of Erling Haaland gathers pace.
City are set to land a big character both on and off the pitch if Haaland seals his switch to the Etihad as expected. Evra suggested a potential hiccup in the deal, however, in that Guardiola ‘does not want leaders’ and that he purposely avoids such personalities so that he can maintain control.
“Manchester City needs leaders, but Guardiola doesn’t want leaders,” he said, per The Daily Mail. “That’s why when they’re in trouble they don’t have anyone on the pitch to help them. He chooses his teams like that, he can’t train people with personality.
“He did it at Barcelona, but he builds his team to control everyone. When things go wrong, he always decides.”
Lineker couldn’t help but bite back on social media, however, branding the former Man Utd left-back’s take ‘utter nonsense’. Lineker and Guardiola have a common history with Barcelona, and the Match of the Day presenter regularly talks up his managerial exploits.
City stars Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Fernandinho would all surely take issue with Evra’s personality claim too. The trio are seen as Guardiola’s leaders on the pitch, although Haaland’s arrival would throw an even louder element into the mix.
A full agreement has reportedly been reached on personal terms, with Borussia Dortmund merely awaiting the activation of Haaland’s release clause, which City have promised to do. It remains to be seen how smoothly he slots into Guardiola’s set-up, as the former Barcelona boss has had skirmishes with a number of superstars in the past.
Perhaps the best-known case is that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The enigmatic striker was lured to Catalonia during Guardiola’s trophy-laden spell in charge, but took issue with favouritism towards Lionel Messi as he struggled to bed in. Samuel Eto’o and Yaya Toure have had run-ins of their own, although those kind of sagas have broadly been avoided in recent years.
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