Football

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola takes blame for goal-shy start to the season


Pep Guardiola has accepted responsibility for Manchester City’s goal-scoring struggles this season and believes it is their biggest problem amid a difficult start to the new season.

City finished last term as the Premier League’s highest-scorers with 102 goals but have managed just 10 in their opening eight games at the start of the new campaign.

Injuries to Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have not helped matters but after a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at the weekend, City find themselves in the bottom half of the table.

“The reason why is the manager,” Guardiola said, ahead of the trip to Olympiakos in the Champions League, where City have nine goals in three games and only require a point to reach the knock-out stages.  

“I have to find a way. I have to find a way to adapt the qualities that we have, because the same players in different seasons can make different movements and can be in better form or not better form.  

“I have to adjust something, to let them feel we can create more chances. It’s in my hands to help them.  

“When I see the teams in the games, how they try and they suffer and they do it, that’s when I’m at my happiest I can feel as a manager.  

“They want to do it and I have to find a way to help them be what we were in the previous seasons. Even when we struggle, we have to find a way. We have enough players to score and we are going to do it.”

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Guardiola has been criticised – both this season and last – for City’s defensive vulnerability to counter-attacks, which was on display once more in the defeat at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

The Catalan denied that was the biggest problem facing his side, however, and returned to their lack of creativity and struggles to find the net.

“That’s not the big problem right now, the counter-attack. It’s our fluidity to attack, to win more often and to create more chances,” he said.

“This is the target we have to improve… that I have to [improve], to know exactly what we have to do and help them to do it.”



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