Football

Schmeichel: City have no chance of top-four finish

Schmeichel takes another dig at Guardiola, saying he has not been a success in Manchester

EPL
WEST HAM MAN CITY

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel has taken another swipe at Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ahead of their clash with West Ham United tomorrow morning (Singapore time), saying the Citizens have no chance of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season.

It is not the first time the former City No. 1 has taken a potshot at the Spaniard, having called him overrated last September.

After a blistering start to his career in Manchester, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has found things more difficult in recent times.

City have won only half of their last 12 matches, drawing twice and losing four times, including 4-0 to Everton - Guardiola's worst ever league defeat.

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Invitational golf tournament, the Great Dane said: "I think Guardiola so far has not been a success.

"Yes, admittedly he inherited a difficult squad.

"(But) then you expect someone who proclaims he is a genius in football to go in and sort it out, but I don't think he will.

"If I am honest, I do not think City have a chance to finish in the top four.

"I think they have too many problems there and too many players are unhappy.

"I think when you have such a strong person like Guardiola coming in, the changes are too big and the players are finding it difficult to apply it."

I think Pep Guardiola so far has not been a success... You expect someone who proclaims he is a genius in football to go in and sort it out, but I don’t think he will. Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel

While Schmeichel is adamant the Citizens will finish outside the Champions League places, Yaya Toure believes City have to finish top of the table.

He said: "This club is not about finishing second or third.

"We need to finish first.

"This year is very tough but we are going to keep going and see what happens ahead.

"Of course we have big players around, but those players are going to learn from the experienced players."

One of those experienced players is Fernandinho, who star midfielder Kevin de Bruyne says has been sorely missed during his four-match suspension.

The 31-year-old Brazilian was handed the lengthy ban after receiving his third red card in six games during a 2-1 win over Burnley on Jan 2.

Said the Belgian: "Obviously we've missed him.

"He's been an important player throughout his time at City.

"He plays a pivotal role for us in midfield and helps keep everything organised, plus he's also very good on the ball.

"Now he's served his ban and is available for us again, so it's a big boost for the team because he's missed seven games this season through suspension.

"If you get a red card in England, you're banned for three or sometimes four games which is unbelievable, but there's not much you can do about it.

"I think one game is enough but those are the rules, I suppose.

"I think Ferna's one of the best holding midfielders I've ever played with.

"We are very lucky to have him." - WIRE SERVICES

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