Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola has has to fix Manchester City at front and back - Danny Mills

In-coming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has issues to solve at both end of the pitch if he is to be a success in England, according to former Sky Blues defender Danny Mills.

City's defeat in the Champions League semi-final by Real Madrid has left more questions about the direction of the club once Spaniard Guardiola replaces Manuel Pellegrini, who will leave at the end of the season.

Mills, who played for City between 2004 and 2009, believes out-going Bayern Munich coach Guardiola has plenty of issues to tackle to hit the ground running at the Etihad Stadium.

"My worry for City under Guardiola is their defence. They were all at sea against Southampton last week and watching Bayern play Atletico they weren't much better either," said Mills, who is a Sportslobster blogger.

"Will he have a plan to sort it out? Does he sign a couple of players or does he have a clear-out and buy seven or eight?

"I really don't know, but in the Premier League where every team can beat you apart from Aston Villa, Guardiola won't be able to be so attack-minded as he has been in Spain and Germany where you are allowed to dominate.

"For me he has to strengthen at both ends if City are to provide a challenge next term."

City have yet to secure Champions League football again next season, but would move back above Arsenal into third place in the Barclays Premier League if they win at the Eithad Stadium on Sunday.

Former England right-back Mills believes the decision to announce Pellegrini's departure with so much left of the current campaign still to play just added extra pressure for results.

He said: "Pellegrini clearly focused solely on winning the Champions League and took his eye off the Premier League and I don't blame him. Why should he worry about the long-term future of the club when he only has a handful of games left in charge?

"The owners have created this situation by announcing Guardiola so early in the season and the worst-case scenario is that it will result in no Champions League football next season.

"Now they've been knocked out by Real they clearly have to re-focus, pull together and really show up for Arsenal on Sunday otherwise that scenario could quite easily become a reality."

:: Read Danny Mills' Sportslobster blog in full here at


From Belfast Telegraph