Jamie Redknapp says Pep Guardiola ‘messed with the team’ gave other teams a chance in Premier League title race… and says Kevin De Bruyne ‘hasn’t been the same’ since Belgium’s World Cup exit
Jamie Redknapp has claimed that Pep Guardiola has raised rivals Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes by continuing to tinker with his first team.
The defending Premier League champions are chasing a third successive title but are currently two points adrift of leaders Arsenal, with the Gunners also having a game in hand.
Redknapp claimed that Guardiola’s frequent changes in his squad had caused uncertainty in the Manchester City squad, with players struggling to adapt to the system.
The Sky Sports analyst suggested that the changes had allowed Arsenal and Manchester United to be in contention for the title this season, but said Guardiola’s side would retain the title if he reverted to the full-back four.
“If they go to a conventional quarterback, I think they win the championship by six or seven points, but the fact that he was messing with the team the whole time, I think it gave other teams a chance,” said Redknapp.
Jamie Redknapp claims Pep Guardiola’s changes have given rivals a title shot
Redknapp suggested Guardiola’s changes created uncertainty among City players
‘Players don’t know exactly where they are fitting into the system. Haaland gave them an out in terms of goals, but they lost that extra player in midfield. That’s why he’s trying to put one of the full-backs in midfield.
‘When we can’t guess your team, sometimes it’s difficult for the players.’
Redknapp also insisted that Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne had been impacted by Belgium’s dismal World Cup campaign.
The highly rated side crashed out of the tournament’s group stage in Qatar amid reports of divisions within the camp.
De Bruyne was criticized for suggesting the team were “too old” to go that far ahead of the tournament, with the 31-year-old failing to make an impact on the pitch.
The midfield star was out of the starting eleven during Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat by Tottenham earlier this month, before playing the next three games from the start.
This included scoring a goal and providing an assist in City’s crucial 3–1 win over Arsenal.
De Bruyne was on the bench in City’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth after missing their midweek Champions League tie with RB Leipzig due to illness.
“There’s definitely something going on with De Bruyne, he’s in and out of the team, he left him out against Tottenham,” said Redknapp.
‘He’s probably thinking I should leave him for Leipzig.
Redknapp said Kevin De Bruyne was impacted by Belgium’s World Cup elimination
De Bruyne was left on the bench in Manchester City’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday
“He hasn’t been the same since the World Cup. What happened to Belgium affected him.
Redkanpp’s fellow commentator Glenn Murray suggested that De Bruyne’s absence from the squad would be a blow to Erling Haaland.
“We’re speculating but this is the end of the season and that’s when you need De Bruyne,” said Murray. ‘You would expect him to start more games.
‘When Haaland sees that De Bruyne is not playing his heart is going to sink a little bit because De Bruyne’s first thought is where is Erling? Can I find him?’