Pep has not changed his mind on Joe Hart
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that if Manchester City had better goalkeepers, they’d be far closer to 1st placed Chelsea this season.
Claudio Bravo has been handpicked by Pep to be the Blues shot-stopper this season and to say that hasn’t been up to the challenge would be an understatement. Bravo was having one sub-pair performance after another and even found himself on the bench on more than one occasion as Guardiola had no choice but to rotate between his goalkeepers.
This January, City showed little to no interest in bringing in another goalie, and Pep’s reluctance to adjust to the Premier League’s style has probably made it more possible for his team’s struggles with the goalkeeper’s position to continue well past this season.
In Guardiola’s philosophy, the goalkeeper plays an integral part in the team’s build up of the attack. Pep likes to use the goalkeeper to draw the opposition players even further from their own half in order to use the space they’ve left behind through quick transitions and it has worked, but only to a certain extent. The reasons are unclear as to why Claudio Bravo couldn’t step up to the challenge and it may not be his fault that it is so.
Bravo fulfills all of the conditions to be a Pep Guardiola goalie attacking-wise. He is quick, he is a decent passer of the ball and he positions himself well to receive the ball. The question arises, “can the same be said about Manchester City’s defenders?”
City’s defense have had their fair share of criticism about their defensive organization and awareness, but they have somehow eluded condemnation for their offensive efforts.
In order for the goalie or in this case the “sweeper keeper” to make a good pass, the defenders need to be positioned perfectly, namely because any mistake at that end of the field would result in a conceded goal more often than not.
Pep has probably not lost hope of his number 1 yet, though. In a press conference yesterday he has made it clear that he will be looking for an alternative for neither of his top two keepers which probably means that there will be plenty of defenders going in and out.
These words have particularly been encouraging for Willy Caballero who’s contract expires in the summer.
When asked about Joe Hart, Pep refused to say anything that would cause a disturbance for his current keepers and has said that he’ll talk with his players at the end of the season.