It has become so bad that the Spanish tactician admitted that his new challenge at Manchester City is the need for the club to score more goals.
Since Guardiola started coaching Manchester City in 2016, he has never scored less than 27 goals in his first 12 Premier League games. But so far this season, Manchester City managed to score just 18 goals after 12 Premier League matches.
Backtracking to Pep Guardiola’s first season at City (2016-2017), his players scored 27 goals in the club’s first 12 league games. In the next season (2017-2018); Guardiola’s men scored 40 goals within 12 games; in the 2018-2019 season, his team scored 36 goals in 12 games; while last season, City scored 35 goals in their first 12 league games.
The problem City has with scoring goals has forced the club that won the Premier League title in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons, to remain on the 9th spot after recording 5 draws, 2 defeats, and 5 wins in 12 league games. They have managed to garner just 20 points so far, 8 points away from the league table toppers, Liverpool.
It became obvious that Manchester City was in trouble in terms of scoring goals when they couldn’t defeat West Brom decisively on Tuesday, December 15. The Premier League match ended 1-1 at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola spent quality time on Friday, December 18, to discuss the club’s problem with scoring goals, while urging his players not to depend on the club’s strikers alone for goals ahead of their 13th league match which is away against Southampton on Saturday.
“Comparing with the last three seasons of course we have to score more – this is the reality, everyone knows this”, Pep Guardiola said.
“But it’s not down to one specific player, everyone can score – it’s down to the mentality and desire to score them. Be positive, be aggressive.
“The only chance we have to create more is insisted, insist, insist – play better and not just leave it to the responsibility of the strikers.
“Of course they know they have to score but everybody is involved in the way we play and in creating more chances in our game.”
Manchester City’s most reliable players in terms of scoring goals, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Agüero, and Raheem Sterling have managed to score just 5 league goals altogether. Agüero’s case is worst due to incessant injury-related issues. Hence he is yet to score a league goal for City this season.
“The last 32-33 games we have played Sergio (Aguero) could only play four or five of them,” Guardiola added.
“Gabriel (Jesus) has incredible numbers of minutes and goals in the Premier League and is one of the top three or four in history.
“But it doesn’t just depend on his shoulders – of course the strikers have more responsibilities to try to win games but as I said, everyone can score goals.”