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‘You’d walk there’… Wayne Rooney admits he would absolutely love to work with £378,000-a-week Man City man

Wayne Rooney has expressed his openness to the idea of serving as the assistant manager under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. This revelation comes in the wake of John Eustance’s departure from Birmingham City, which left the team in a relegation battle after Rooney took charge.

Currently without a managerial position, Rooney admitted on The Overlap’s Stick To Football podcast that if given the chance to work alongside Guardiola, he would embrace the opportunity. In his own words, “It depends [on if I would ever be an assistant manager]. If Pep Guardiola comes in and asks me to be his assistant, you’d walk there.” Rooney acknowledged the influence of managers like Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, suggesting that learning from their approaches could contribute to his own development as a manager.

Rooney’s potential collaboration with Guardiola, a controversial prospect considering his legendary status at Manchester United, where he is often hailed as one of the club’s greatest-ever players, reflects his eagerness to refine his managerial skills. Despite the historic rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City, Rooney’s acknowledgment of Guardiola’s managerial prowess underscores the profound impact the latter has in the world of football management.

£15m Man City player was simply outstanding in 1-0 win over Brentford

Manchester City secured a hard-fought victory against Brentford at the Etihad Stadium, closing the gap to just one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Despite City’s dominance in possession and numerous chances, they faced a resilient Brentford side that proved difficult to break down, with goalkeeper Mark Flekken thwarting their attempts.

Erling Haaland eventually broke the deadlock, securing the crucial goal for City. The match required patience, as Brentford adopted a defensive approach, camping in their own half for most of the game. Ivan Toney and Frank Onyeka posed occasional threats on the counter, but City’s persistence paid off.

In a game where City’s center-backs found themselves in advanced positions due to Brentford’s deep defensive line, Manuel Akanji, preferred over Nathan Ake on the left, delivered an impressive attacking performance. Akanji, usually a center-back, ventured forward, showcased excellent ball distribution, and tested Flekken with a remarkable curling shot in the first half.

Despite his limited experience in the left-back position, Akanji looked comfortable, completing an outstanding 106 out of 108 passes (98%), making 123 touches (second only to Rodri with 124), and contributing three clearances and two interceptions, according to Sofascore.

Akanji’s commendable performance on the left side, a position he rarely occupies, deserves recognition. While his overall season may not have matched the high standards set in the previous campaign, his adaptability and effectiveness in this role could be a positive sign for City’s future strategies, potentially prompting Pep Guardiola to explore this option more frequently.

Stuart Pearce admits he’s spotted one worrying weakness where Man City can ‘get done’

Stuart Pearce has identified a potential vulnerability in Manchester City’s gameplay despite their recent win against Brentford. While City secured a narrow victory after a disappointing draw with Chelsea, Pearce observed a pattern in recent performances.

In an interview with TalkSport, Pearce expressed his concern, stating, “They are too composed on the ball, not giving it away easily. They lure you into chasing, and then they turn and move beyond you. It resembles a basketball defense, defending the goal area while allowing width. However, in both the Chelsea game and yesterday’s match, City has shown susceptibility to being exploited behind.”

Pearce elaborated, “They play with a relatively high line during turnovers, and Brentford missed a couple of chances in the first half. Teams with pace and the ability to break City’s press quickly can expose this vulnerability.”

While City’s recent win elevated them to second place, just one point behind Liverpool, Pearce highlighted instances where opponents have exploited their high defensive line. He pointed out the challenges City faced against Wolves earlier in the season and how Chelsea scored by capitalizing on defensive lapses.

Although City’s pressing game is formidable, Pearce emphasized that teams capable of repeatedly breaking through and exploiting their defensive line with speed have found success. Despite occasional vulnerabilities, City’s overall dominance and pressing prowess make it challenging for opponents to capitalize consistently.

‘The smartest’… Vitaliy Mykolenko says Oleksandr Zinchenko used to rave about one Man City legend in private

Certainly, Zinchenko had the opportunity to both play alongside and train with the esteemed Spanish midfielder at the Etihad Stadium. The current Arsenal defender asserted in August of the previous year that David Silva, the retired maestro, stood out as the best player he had ever shared the field with. The Ukrainian player acknowledged feeling “fortunate” to have experienced playing with someone of David Silva’s caliber, emphasizing the midfielder’s exceptional ability to comprehend the game at an elevated level.

Zinchenko and Silva, as teammates, clinched the Premier League titles for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons, along with the FA Cup and two Carabao Cup triumphs. Given his role as a left-back, the 27-year-old had the unique opportunity to be on the same side as the World Cup winner, who was strategically positioned as a left-sided midfielder by manager Pep Guardiola. When asked about his Premier League dream teammate, Vitaliy Mykolenko disclosed that Zinchenko consistently praised David Silva, describing him as the smartest and most technically adept player. “Second one, David Silva. [Oleksandr] Zinchenko said about him he’s the smartest player. Technical, smart,” Mykolenko shared in an interview with Sky Sports.

Leighton Baines, a legendary figure at Goodison Park, was the first choice of the Everton defender when asked about his preferred Premier League icon. In December, Unai Emery expressed his desire to have David Silva on his current Aston Villa team when given the opportunity to select any player from past Premier League icons. It comes as no surprise that David Silva has left a lasting impact on teammates, players, and managers throughout the football community. His prowess on the field was not only mesmerizing for spectators but also appeared to be a valuable lesson in football every time he graced the pitch, particularly during his stints with Manchester City and Valencia.

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