Pep Guardiola is looking to be the anchor in Man City's turnaround

Pep Guardiola is looking to be the anchor in Manchester City’s turnaround as he seeks to avoid unwanted record against Luton: ‘Wake up – there’s something wrong!’

  • Guardiola has never failed to win in five consecutive league games in his career
  • He is looking to take the reigns following a poor run of form for the champions
  • Man City have dipped, but Gary Neville is WRONG to say they’re complacent – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

Pep Guardiola is taking personal responsibility to kickstart Manchester City after an uncharacteristic run of four matches without a win.

Guardiola feels his current City squad, who lost experienced trio Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte in the summer, require him to step up on the sidelines.

They’ve also lost key players like Kevin de Bruyne to injury and Guardiola feels the ‘unfair’ outside pressure on City compared to other big clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea also plays a part.

City visit Luton on Sunday on the back of draws against those two teams and Spurs, and were beaten 1-0 at Aston Villa on Wednesday. Rodri and Jack Grealish, who missed that game through suspension, are eligible to return at Kenilworth Road.

‘The players need me and I have to be there,’ said Guardiola, who never been winless for five league matches in his career.

Pep Guardiola is looking to be the anchor in Manchester City’s turnaround amid a poor run of form in the Premier League

City are winless in five league matches – Guardiola has never lost five league games in a row

Having lost 1-0 to Aston Villa last time out, City take on a Luton side in the relegation zone on Sunday afternoon

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‘I need to find the right words, the right training, the right selections. I am the boss and because I am the boss, I have to help them.

‘Four matches without a win. I have done something wrong, I don’t know what, but I have done something wrong. I don’t know how but I’ll help the team to come back.

‘I need to step back to realise, ‘Come on Pep, wake up! There’s something wrong’.

‘I have never ever found a player who wants to play in front of 60,000 people. There are always many reasons. Sometimes after winning you want to try extra but you don’t do it because you have won a lot. You need a punch in the face. Now let’s see [what happens next].

‘If you win a lot, macaroni pasta. The last six months just macaroni, macaroni. It’s a good warning for me. If I’m not able to do it the club will decide what to do.’

Guardiola hinted that City higher-ups may look for another managerial option if he is unable to turn his side’s fortunes around

While that almost certainly won’t happen, he has been urging himself to ‘wake up’ and identify the problem with performances

That last sentiment is mischievous, Guardiola knows there is no way on earth City would ever contemplate ending their relationship.

Unlike last season when Guardiola provoked his players by calling them a ‘happy flowers team’, the Spaniard is using both carrot and stick to get a tune out of them this time.

No team in English history has won four titles in a row but City will have to do it the hard way after slipping behind the pacesetters.

The Spaniard also suggested his players have been spoilt by success as they search for a fourth consecutive league title

While suggesting the players were being spoilt by success – hence the bizarre sight of Guardiola rubbing his head on Friday as an impression of stroking a cat – he feels City are being judged by different, and higher, standard to everyone else.

‘In football and sport, the most difficult thing is to win and win and win. We have done it so when we go out in the Champions League semi-final, it is (seen as) a big disaster. It is not the same for others at all.

‘The only team who is going to fail not winning the Premier League is us. For the rest it’s a big success – any team. Arsenal, Liverpool Chelsea don’t win everything – that’s normal. But City should win?

‘That isn’t fair. It is difficult to handle that every week, every three days during years and years. But for us it’s important to be there and we have to continue that.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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