Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has told Pep Guardiola that he must be more flexible with his tactics if he wants to be successful.
City started the season in wonderful form, but have come unstuck against teams that have played more directly.
De Bruyne says that Guardiola often talks about tactics with his players, but they remind him that teams will just look to play long balls against them.
While De Bruyne’s words were hardly intended to be scathing, although some newspapers have gone with that angle, it does reveal the difficulties City have faced in overcoming opposition tactics.
“You need to fight to impose your style,” De Bruyne said.
“Sometimes, it’s not pretty to watch because it’s not our ideal style but we have no choice.
“What surprises Pep the most is how many teams still play long balls.
“He still thinks they will try to play football because they do against other teams. But against us, it’s not the case.
“He spends so much time and invests so much energy to find space and it finishes with us telling him the opponents will hit us with long balls.
“Sometimes, he should ask himself: ‘What’s this all about?’”
Kevin De Bruyne is very happy in Manchester. Loves the club, the city and likes to work with Pep. "I think we're on the right track." (S/VM) pic.twitter.com/EzALEE6D0m
— Kristof Terreur ? (@HLNinEngeland) December 21, 2016