Pep Guardiola’s plan therefore worked wonderfully. With this little freelancer on the bench, the master to play was bitten by the Catalan. Goal: remobilize it. Mission accomplished with this 12th assist in the Premier League and 17th in all competitions. That makes him the best passer in all five major European championships.
By putting De Bruyne on the bench against Tottenham, Guardiola sent a strong signal: “We don’t have passion, fire and desire to win”
|Players||Club – Country||Helping||Matches|
|De Bruyne||Manchester City – England||12||19|
|Chief Muani||Frankfurt – Germany||11||15|
|Kvaratskhelia||Naples – Italy||9||15|
However, it was not enough to satisfy Pep Guardiola. The former Barca boss assured that seeing KDB on the bench could happen again. Especially when he wants to give some weight to the Citizens attack. “Like every season, we have many meetings”, explained Guardiola in a press conference. “Sometimes we need a different type of player in attacking positions. In some games we lacked players in the box and Kevin struggled a bit there.”
Facing the Londoners, Julian Alvarez was chosen as the Red Devil’s replacement. A different profile. The Argentinian evolved as a second striker and turned his back on Haaland. A mission he accomplished brilliantly since he sounded the revolt by reducing the gap to 1-2 to eventually win 4-2. It’s also proof that City can win big games without KDB in the eleven and the coach has another string to his bow.
Could Pep Guardiola really do without KDB?
If anyone knows how to handle Kevin de Bruyne, it’s Pep Guardiola. After the game against Wolves, the manager also said “his pass is incredible”. In other words, nothing to worry about… although you certainly shouldn’t rest on your laurels.
The proof of Ruben Dias. Absolutely vital since his arrival in 2020, he has seen Akanji pass him by this season. A total surprise. The Portuguese wore the armband last year as the Swiss arrived at the very end of the summer transfer window. Admittedly, the former Benfica defender is playing, but his status has weakened. So, this is only the… thirteenth hour of workforce play. Which proves one thing: Pep Guardiola won’t hesitate to make his choices if he thinks it’s better for his collective. If the tactic requires it, KDB will go to the bench. “With Kevin, you always expect him to lend a hand”, continued Guardiola. “But how many offerings are not converted? Against Wolves, he played well for 75 minutes. But there is great competition in the team and we have to continue. Some matches require specific profiles and sometimes Kevin struggles a bit.”
Guardiola wants to rotate his squad
Between Pep Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne, it’s a true love story. “For seven years, we knew each other well. I know when Kevin is ready and sometimes not. just normal”he also told the Manchester Evening News.
Guardiola’s responsibilities to his player and his statistics therefore lead to optimism. Last year, Pep Guardiola was brilliant in handling the DB case. Bad at the start of the season and not physically fit, the midfielder played only two full games in the first sixteen days.
The Catalan gave him time to return. With the result everyone knows: KDB was voted the best player in the Premier League by repositioning himself as a false nine. Between August and early December, he scored 2 goals for 0 assists. He then dotted the i’s with 13 goals and 8 assists over the next 20 games.
After his fresh caviar against Wolves, John Stones praised his team-mate’s qualities. “It doesn’t surprise me that he is the best passer in the league and in Europe”, started the England international. “But one should not underestimate his quality and this achievement. Wherever the ball is on the pitch, it will create scoring opportunities. That’s why he’s a world-class player. Because he never stops inventing things.”
Better than anyone, Guardiola knows that a season is very long. Therefore, he will need the Red Devil to accomplish his goals. The management of his master to play is therefore important to try to finally regain the Champions League. A trophy that has eluded him since the 2010/2011 season. Or an eternity. Especially since there are also eight points to take on impressive Premier League leaders Arsenal. A whole program in which KDB will play a central role. Whether he is on the bench from time to time or not.