Playing Direct Football Is Man City’s New Approach Reveals Veteran Full Back Zabaleta
The veteran full back scored against Watford as they won 2-0 at home in the Premier league. Pep Guardiola’s constant change in tactics has served him well at Barcelona and Bayern Munich but the Spaniard is struggling with the philosophy this campaign.
Manchester City kept their first clean sheet in 9 games this week as goalscorer Pablo Zabaleta said that there is still a long way to go.
“We played direct when it was needed and we played out from the back when there was a good chance to play from Claudio Bravo,” he said.
“We need to respond to those situations where sometimes we need to play long balls and go for the second balls as well. In this league you need this, it is so physical. You need to be strong as a defender and you must be so solid.”
“We have been talking the last few days that we needed to improve defensively. We kept a clean sheet, we were solid at the back and that is a big difference.”
“I think the main problem was we were conceding too many counter-attacks and we needed to concentrate more on those balls. I thought we were very concentrated during the whole game against Watford, winning the long balls, being very aggressive at the back, winning all the duels.”
“That is what you need as a defender, and as a team you need that determination and that desire to win the duels and the tackles. You must be prepared for this and we’ve got the players that have the aggression to cope with this.”
Fourth placed Manchester City will play Arsenal in this weekend’s crunch clash at the Etihad stadium.