Joe Hart’s replacement Claudio Bravo sums up Manchester City woes and Guardiola must know that

Joe Hart was clearly and understandably emotional when he waved goodbye to fans after making his only appearance this season.

Yes he had not had a great Euros but this was still a top class goalkeeper who was one of the reasons Manchester City won two titles.

A world-class keeper would surely have done better with one , maybe two of the goals Man City conceded to Leicester

But there was no great outcry from the fans because, well, they had Pep Guardiola.

When you have a coach of that standing you trust in his judgement, you believe he has to be doing the right thing.

To get them to  play like Barcelona and Bayern  they needed a keeper with a different skill set it seemed, so in came Claudio Bravo.

They would also have made it a lot tougher for Vardy’s second goal where Bravo neither came far enough or stayed back and made the striker’s mind up.

When it comes to shot stopping, of the last 20 he has had to save ten have gone in. In the last two matches it is seven from ten.

This is not a goalkeeper who is going to earn you points in the same way the very best do.

I genuinely do not think passing the ball out from the back was going to be something Hart would have struggled with long term either.

Guardiola has proved himself to be one of the best coaches in the game.

So when he talks about building up moves from the back to provide better chances you understand it.

The thing is at Barca and Bayern he had a lot more accomplished defenders to do that than he has at City. He knows it too or otherwise he would not  have used 12 different defensive units in the last 15 games. Little wonder they don’t seem to know what each other is doing.

These players are simply not comfortable playing this way, not in this league. Now you can argue about the very top Spanish and German teams and conclude we do not have the best league in the world as far as quality.

You cannot, however, argue with our strength in depth which puts us ahead of La Liga and the Bundesliga.

Barca and Bayern would be afforded far more time to play out from the back most weeks as inferior opposition would retreat when they didn’t have the ball.

They would realise they simply weren’t good enough to hassle and harry them high up the pitch given the danger they would be in further back if they lost those battles.

In the Premier League teams right down the table will make life extremely difficult for you in all areas.

Teams know City are unsure playing the ball out from the back and are exploiting that.

I hate having a go at English talent right now because there is not enough of it, but I see John Stones making the same mistakes week in week out. He gets caught on the ball and makes lazy back passes.

But he was not alone in his ineffectiveness on Saturday. The team got it wrong, the boss got it wrong.

One of the reasons Leicester have not been as effective this season is that teams have sat a lot deeper to negate those surging runs of Vardy.

So what did City do, they played a high line and were caught out by those surging runs of Vardy.

They looked like they had set up thinking only of themselves and not what the opposition can do.

They had not taken into account Leicester are champions and can still do this. It was poor planning.

He said: “I am not a coach for the tackles. I don’t train for tackles — in the end we are not going to win or lose because of tackles.”

Well you are, because against Chelsea in particular they were outfought physically, bullied by Diego Costa and lost the fight.

I am all for the beautiful game but in this league you sometimes have to win ugly.

It is three wins in nine in the league now for Guardiola’s men.

All those contesting for the title will have a blip at some stage, but these are worrying times for City.


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