The Simple Things– Pep Guardiola Slams Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has criticized Kevin De Bruyne’s recent form and has urged him to focus on doing the “simple things” better.
Despite being the Premier League’s top assister this season, De Bruyne has been dropped to the bench for three of the previous seven league games, including City’s narrow win over Crystal Palace last weekend.
Some pundits even suggest that the Belgian is no longer the best player in his position in England’s top tier, with Martin Odegaard overtaking him.
Speaking ahead of City’s Champions League tie with RB Leipzig, Pep Guardiola spoke about his frustrations with De Bruyne’s performances.
“It’s been a difficult season for all of us, me included, due to the World Cup and many things,” he said.
“I’m not going to discover [how good] Kevin [is]. What I’d like – I spoke many times to him – is to go to the easy principles and do it well. He has an incredible ability to make an assist, to score goals and see passes like no one else. But I always have the belief that they will increase and get better when the simple things [are done]: like don’t lose the ball, the mobility, the incredible capacity to be active in the movement. The simple things: do it again better and better. When this is going to happen, the rest will come along.”
De Bruyne was brought on as a substitute after Erling Haaland had scored the winning goal against Crystal Palace.
However, the forward malfunctioned during the celebrations at full time. The partnership between De Bruyne and Haaland had started well this season, but the Norwegian’s role in the team has been questioned at times, perhaps because his partner stopped assisting him so often.
City are currently trailing Arsenal by five points, and with just 11 games to go, they face an uphill battle to win a fourth league title in five years. However, Guardiola’s side cannot be ruled out just yet, especially if De Bruyne can return to his best form.