Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has explained why he is currently opting for Jack Grealish ahead of Phil Foden in his line-up selections for the Premier League champions.
Foden started England’s most important games at the World Cup, but it has been a different story at City, where he has been picked for only one of the past six Premier League games and, since scoring a hat-trick in the Manchester derby, has not been selected in consecutive matches.
Guardiola has no regrets in opting for Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez, who have registered assists in City’s past two games – including in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Everton – and will tailor his team according to what he sees from his players.
Speaking following the 1-1 draw with Everton at the Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Eve, the Manchester City boss revealed that despite Foden being able to operate in “one thousand positions,” Jack Grealish offers something more.
“Phil can play in one thousand positions,” Guardiola opened. “I see something on the pitch, in the training sessions, and I use my intuition to use Jack in these games because he gives us extra passes.”
He continued, “Phil is better when more vertical. Both can play together and combine. The way we played against Leeds, knowing their defence was completely different, was really good. The way we’ve played in the last three games is one of the best since I’ve been here.”
These Guardiola’s comments were shared on Twitter by City Xtra and it attracted plenty of attention from the club’s supporters.
@KDBSZNN: Pep has lost it
@theutdcode: Just sign a wide player, stop the waffle.
@ManCitty9320: This guy doesn’t stop to amaze me. He actually doesn’t want Foden because he doesn’t rate verticality. He wants a players playing sideways and to the back
@ov_mcfc: We don’t care, just make sure Phil Foden is out on that pitch come Thursday
@Muntasir02: Grealish keeps the ball only to wait for an opponent to foul him, we need a winger whose more serious to score/create goals, fouls don’t win games. Pep should bring back walker and Cancello, we need their attacking speed
@BlowEazyy: Phil is an undropabble player like KDB, Haaland, Rodri and Walker. Ain’t no small or big team, he should play every f**king game.
@1ohdt: Foden should start every game simple as that
@CastilloErling9: He’s essentially saying Jack will play against lower level teams that park it because we need to go side to side but Phil will play against top teams because we can use vertical passes
City’s title credentials will be put to the test over the next five weeks, as they must play Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham (twice) in the Premier League. Their first encounter against Arsenal is set to take place at the Emirates on February 15.
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