Pep Guardiola has hinted that he will use his ‘second team’ in the Community Shield against Leicester City – which have got some Manchester City supporters fans talking.
The Blues will have to endure a makeshift pre-season schedule over the coming weeks after most of their first-team stars reached the latter stages of Euro 2020 or the Copa America, which meant they’re still away on their mandatory break from playing.
With the majority of those that featured at the tournaments still on their summer breaks, City only had eight first team players available for the 2-0 friendly win over Preston North End.
Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Fernandinho, Benjamin Mendy, Riyad Mahrez and Zack Steffen all managed at least 45-minutes against the Championship outfit, with Scott Carson not involved and Guardiola acknowledged it is a unique situation.
The absence of recognised first team players provided a host of youngsters with an opportunity against Preston, with 18-year-old Sam Edozie on target after Riyad Mahrez had put City in front with a superb 20-yard free kick.
Indeed, Guardiola made 10 changes at half-time, with Steffen the only senior player involved in the second 45 minutes, when the Academy cohort impressed against their more experienced opponents.
Guardiola reflected on City’s win over Preston after the game and explained what he wanted to see against Barnsley and hints he will use his ‘second team’ in Community Shield.
“With mistakes, they don’t matter. They did very well. We have to adapt. Just three or four players from the first team, every week more players are coming. Hopefully they come back and they can train and they don’t have to rest or be isolated,” Guardiola said.
“I know we don’t have time because in 10 or 11 days we have the Community Shield, but we’re going to play with a second team and we’re going to train. For everybody, it’s a tough season. Every season is so tough, demanding and important.
“Yeah, recover the principles [against Barnsley], they have to restart and feel comfortable on the pitch, and as many games we can play the better condition they will feel. We’re going to have the feeling that day by day, we can feel better.”
These Guardiola’s comment has prompt some Sky Blues to react on social media.
He has started— Sheikh Mansour (@sheikhmansour12) July 27, 2021
I’m actually really interested to see how that plays out, should be a great watch— vm (@mcfcvm) July 27, 2021
Great idea. Lets get the next 10 years of city ready— pain (@Brendemos_) July 27, 2021
He probably meant that there will be u23 players, i would bet my house on it that at least dias is going to be on the pitch— OnlyCity🇭🇺 (@MCFCDavid027) July 27, 2021
Here we go again, not a surprise that pep does randomly decisions.— JuanCity (@JuanCITYZEN) July 27, 2021
Not really news – obvious that the first team squad won’t be ready to play 90 mins for that game. I imagine it’ll be similar to a friendly where he’ll have almost a different side for each half.— Jack Parkes (@jparkes1991) July 27, 2021
Pep has fully lost the plot— MCFCMax ⁷💙💙 (@7Mcfcmax) July 27, 2021
Pep overthinking a final again pic.twitter.com/hiYrko2HCe— The One And Only (@MCFC_SZn26) July 27, 2021