Guardiola laments City’s ageing full-backs

Pep Guardiola lamented his ageing full-backs’ inability to fit into his method at Manchester City after spluttering to a goalless draw against Manchester United.
United held on in the Etihad Stadium, possessing just 1 shot on target and 31 per cent possession, with City spurning numerous probabilities to strike a blow to their neighbours’ hopes of finishing inside the Premier League’s best 4.
Guardiola selected Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov, 32 and 31 years old respectively, at full-back, with Bacary Sagna, 34, and Gael Clichy, 31, unused on the bench.
The Catalan coach has deployed the likes of Dani Alves, David Alaba and Philipp Lahm as important attacking players from full-back previously, with Jesus Navas’ current conversion from winger to defender hinting at Guardiola’s exasperation with his choices in that region from the pitch.
But that was laid clear right after Thursday’s stalemate.
“I never like a lot of to go to the forwards currently in attack, I like to attack in other methods,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“They are waiting for the error to punish you. They’re able to play and possess a lot good quality but they defend so compact and wait to punish you behind your full-back, and we do not have full-backs to go up and down, up and down, since all of them are 33, 34 years old, so I adapt using the excellent of players.
“Last games we played with Jesus and we attack a whole lot with the full-back, but Pablo, Sagna, Kolarov and Clichy – all of them they may be more than 33 years old and they do not have the legs to go up and down. That’s why I favor they play in other positions.”
Gabriel Jesus made his return from a broken metatarsal as a second-half substitute and looked to have continued a glittering start to his City profession having a stoppage-time goal, but he was adjudged offside from Sergio Aguero’s cross.
Nevertheless, the 19-year-old’s effect off the bench left Guardiola questioning what may have already been had he arrived at the start from the season and not been sidelined by injury.
“Always I’ll feel what would have occurred if Gabriel Jesus would have already been with us all the season,” said Guardiola.
“We did not get a different striker due to the fact he could not come ahead of January, so we missed 4 or five months with no him. His impact was awesome. I am quite confident with these sort of possibilities that we had issues will be just a little bit distinct, however it is what it is actually.”

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