Pep Guardiola accused of ‘suffocating players’ after Man City’s Champions League heartbreak
Pep Guardiola will go down as one of the greatest managers ever but he hasn’t lifted Europe’s elite trophy for more than 10 years.
His quest for Champions League glory with Manchester City continues after Wednesday’s dramatic extra-time loss to Real Madrid. Guardiola has often been accused of overthinking during the biggest moments in the competition.
He opted against playing a defensive midfielder for the first time all season in last year’s final loss to Chelsea, a decision that drew plenty of criticism. Now, a former City player has doubled down on these suggestions, claiming that the Catalan coach tried to do too much in the loss to Madrid.
Speaking on Sky Sports, ex-Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann gave his thoughts on Guardiola’s mindset. “If you give players responsibility they act responsible. If you try to play the game for them they won’t,” he said.
“ Guardiola suffocates teams and players to make their own decisions. Compare that to [Carlo] Ancelotti or [Jurgen] Klopp teams.” He added: “It was really heartbreaking (for Man City), they led over the two legs for most of the time.
“But then again, they conceded five goals when Real Madrid hardly had a chance. Ederson only made four saves in the two legs.”
The City manager decided to take off Kevin De Bruyne and goalscorer Riyad Mahrez before the end of regulation time. Hamann explained how he thought Guardiola made the wrong choices during the game which led to an on-field capitulation.
He continued: “I always feel with Guardiola’s teams that he kind of takes the responsibility off them, and you can’t win games on a tactic board. Once the whistle goes, you have to make decisions and not for the first time, his teams made the wrong decisions at the wrong time.”