Both Mourinho, Guardiola need brand-new squads

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 28.04.2017 22:53

My readers know that I would be the last football columnist to suggest that a club should completely overhaul its squad. In my opinion, football is a simple game and those willing to learn can make significant improvement over time.

Nevertheless, it is very clear that the Manchester City and Manchester United squads lack the talent and depth to reach the goals set by their coaches. Thus, when the two teams met this Thursday, it was obvious that both had solid plans, but did not have the means to execute them.

Therefore, if City and United want to be part of the championship race next year, they must bring radical to changes to their squads.

Let's take a look at City first, their whole defensive line and Yaya Touré must go immediately. Otamendi may be given a second chance, but every time Marcus Rashford left him in the dust at Etihad, that chance got even slimmer.

Only Fernandinho in the defensive midfielder position operates well in a box-to-box role, and his energy in the midfield is crucial. But, Yaya Touré simply cannot be a replacement for David Silva and unfortunately the veteran player's physical capacity has fallen far below Premier League standards.

For the Red Devils', on the other hand, only Eric Bailly in their defensive line deserves to stay with his superb athleticism and defensive instincts. But the others, including Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who were absent this Thursday, are just no go.

Besides Bailly, Antonio Valencia, given his discipline and reliability, may also be added to the list. However, his age leaves room for a question mark.

Meanwhile, Even if Paul Pogba is absent, like he was on Thursday, it should not be Michael Carrick who replaces him in 2017.

Unfortunately, the midfield trio of Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, had no offensive presence in the game and only made sure that United salvaged a point from their city rivals.

Mourinho's attitude here should be questioned as well. It was clear that he retracted from the settled game they played against Chelsea. There Ander Herrera was the center of the game, but, this time Herrera had no playmaking role, which made it more obvious that Mourinho did not travel to the Etihad Stadium for three points.

When it comes to forwards, I guess City is luckier than United and even the presence of young Gabriel Jesus made a difference in the game. In addition, with a right strategy, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling can operate well with their speed, but the same cannot be said for Agüero.

The Argentinean striker, unfortunately, cannot act as the selfless striker Guardiola wants. And now with his finishing touch on the decline, it is time to give Jesus a chance.

Of course the brain of this team, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva must not only stay next season, but most of the changes in the City squad should actually be done around the duo.

Mourinho, on the other hand, can keep Rashford as a promising talent, but there can be no sophisticated frontline strategy with Ibrahimovic. Rather, he needs a high quality striker who is able to play counter-attacking football and does not centralize everything and everyone around him like Ibrahimovic.

Also, I would not prefer Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard as primary wingers and believe they also need high quality replacements in those areas too.

Lastly, if Henrikh Mkhitaryan can perform as well as he used to in Dortmund, he can continue to be a part of the squad. But, he must up his game as a false 9 and be more creative behind strikers.

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