Manchester City winger, Riyad Mahrez has revealed how he disappointed the coach of the club Pep Guardiola in his first season at the club as he found it difficult to find his form despite given numerous opportunities to do. The peak of the disappointed Guardiola got for trusting the Algerian striker was when he missed a penalty against Liverpool in his first season at City, 2018-2019.
Riyad Mahrez joined Manchester City in 2018 for a whopping £60 million after helping Leicester City to stun followers of the Premier League by winning the league in 2017-2018 season.
Due to his disappointing start at Manchester City, Mahrez spent most part of the season on the bench and sometimes play from the bench. That trend continued until the end of the season that saw the club emerged champions with just a point different from the second-placed Liverpool football club.
Despite his disappointing football season, he returned to Algeria national team and led them to their first Africa Nations Cup trophy for the first time in 30 years, defeating Nigeria in the semi-finals and went on to win Senegal in the finals.
Mahrez brought that winning mentality back to Manchester City for the 2019-2020 season which has been better than his previous season at the club. Before the season was interrupted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the 29-year-old Algerian has scored 7 goals and made 9 assists. But his performance could not do much for second-placed City.
“Last year, when I arrived, the manager trusted me and believed in me, but I didn’t make the difference as quick as they thought I would”, Mahrez told Sky Sports. “At a club like City, they don’t have time to wait.
“There are 20 top players, so I was on the bench when others were performing so it was a bit difficult for me to come back. But I played well towards the end of the season, and I started this season differently. When I’ve played, I’ve been performing so the confidence is here.”
I’m set up very well – Riyad Mahrez
“In my first year in the Premier League with Leicester, we were struggling a bit, but I always felt like I was playing good and that I could do something,” he said.
“The next year, we started very strong and the team was so good. When I started scoring, the confidence went up. When I arrived at City, I noticed how everyone sits back so you have to think differently.
“You have to deal differently with your opponent, and in my case the left-back because he’s always in front of me. They also always have help around him, with a midfielder or the winger, so you have to change your play and your movement. It took me a little bit of time but now I feel I’m set up very well.”