Wednesday 16 January 2019

'Can he do it without Messi, Xavi and Iniesta?' - Eamon Dunphy questions whether Man City can conquer Europe with Pep Guardiola in charge

Eamon Dunphy (inset) has questioned Pep Guardiola's ability to deliver Champions League success to Man City
Eamon Dunphy (inset) has questioned Pep Guardiola's ability to deliver Champions League success to Man City

Max Ryan

Eamon Dunphy has questioned Pep Guardiola’s European credentials after Manchester City’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last night.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Champions League coverage, Dunphy said that Guardiola’s much vaunted abilities have been overstated and that without a solid defence, and the world’s greatest player, his team will struggle to achieve their continental goals.

“A cult has built up around Pep Guardiola over the last several years,” he said. “That he has magical powers or that he is a great coach that is able to not just win trophies but transform the game without paying attention to a great element of the game; defending.

“This is the question that remains unanswered about Pep Guardiola; can he do it without Messi, Xavi and Iniesta?”

According to Dunphy, it would appear that, at least in the Champions League, he cannot.

“He can win the Premier League by as many points as he wants,” he continued. “But he has got to go play against Ronaldo or Messi and he’s got to go and play at Liverpool and he’s got a dummy called Otamendi playing centre half who’s not good enough and he doesn’t seem to care.”

The RTÉ pundit also believes that a better team would have escaped last night’s game with a draw and that, even if City overhaul the deficit in the second leg, they will come unstuck against stronger opposition.

“A really good side on a bad night would have got a 0-0 and they can’t do that,” he said.

“This idea that everyone was running away with that they were gonna win the Champions League this year was wrong because if Liverpool don’t do them, Real Madrid or Barcelona will do them.”

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