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  • Good morning and welcome to Sunday supplements on Today Show will be asking What does the future hold for Pep Guardiola on Manchester City?

  • The battle to beat the drop intensifies after Crystal Palace is latest defeat yesterday leaves Roy Hodgson side looking over their shoulder.

  • Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, there's an equally fascinating race for Europe, with a resurgent evident now up to seventh under.

  • New boss Carlo Ancelotti on this weekend sees the Premier League's first ever mid season break.

  • But not everybody is happy about it, joining us to discuss all these topics and a few more besides our Jason Burt, chief football correspondent at The Telegraph.

  • Rob Draper, chief football writer at The Mail on Sunday on Steve Bates, is a chief football writer at the People.

  • Good morning to you rolled out.

  • Don't forget to tweet the show at Sunday's up on the best appear on screen over the next 90 minutes or so.

  • Now, here's a little look as to what's making the back pages this morning.

  • We'll have another bus threw in a little while.

  • Some other stories, too, but Man city feature pretty prominently, as does the future or pet, Kouadio lurks.

  • He's had a contract at the end of next season, a little bit coy about his future.

  • I think it's fair to say it says here in the mirror that city will sign stars whether I'm here or not.

  • We paraphrase, of course, but ah, gladioli hints summer spree in The Observer that's still on the line for faltering city and is a bit here about West Ham.

  • Left staring at the drop is Brady Bunch spark anger in the stands.

  • That's about the about the planned protests from West Ham and everything that's going on there on the back of the sun but Manchester City again.

  • Ah city will cope without me, but he fudges his question on the future.

  • Up here, Dan King's own Grealish eyes Manchester United, potentially next season.

  • Ondas.

  • Quite a bit of rugby as well, but we won't be talking about that.

  • So let's talk about the big game today, which is on Sky, of course.

  • Later on it is Manchester City against West Ham.

  • Are the West Ham in a minute, Jason, but first of all, you're going to the game much to city.

  • How would you describe the situation there at the moment.

  • I think they're a bit becomes.

  • To be honest, I think they're in a situation where obviously 22 points behind Liverpool, which is incredible, really, considering how good they've been the last few years to fall that far behind nervously clear in second place the second best team in the Premier League.

  • But I think this there's no real.

  • There's no real jeopardy involved in there in the seas at the moment.

  • I think that'll kick in when the Champions League starts against.

  • I think the reader situations like a race.

  • There have been two runners on and they've been keeping pace with another runner all the way and suddenly this runners has gone and left them behind and they have sought look behind them.

  • There's no be coming up on their rails, so they point thinking, Well, where is our season going?

  • And I think they've dropped off definitely and I think there's a precision to their football that if unless they're playing at it a lot less, they're playing their best football, they can.

  • The wheels come off quite quickly for them, so I think that's being being the problem with them.

  • a few players one under par and I think the speculation of the future manager is quite interesting.

  • I think he will stay.

  • I think it's quite clever of him not to say what why should he commit right now, obviously going to appeared right now where he needs to know what the club is gonna do for him, so that's quite smart.

  • But I think it's in his nature right now to stay on t o oversee the rebuild, which in itself will be interesting because he's never really done that before.

  • We've never seen a situation, has gone somewhere, built a team, won everything and then stayed and rebuilt another team he's got.

  • He's moved on, so so it looked at City of a different project completely anyway because when he went there, he said.

  • It's different from buying.

  • Munich is different in Barcelona, so we see that through.

  • I think he needs to oversee the rebuild of the team, to go again and challenge Louisville next season.

  • I think if he leaves at the end of this season, which I don't think he will, I think it's really sad.

  • Actually, I think he needs to stay on to take on Liverpool Jurgen Klopp next season on Let's see what that series made off, then do you think this very about him potentially go is simply because it's nearing the end of his contract and there's not really a huge amount of of talk about him.

  • Being close to signing a new one is not.

  • He's not done more than four years.

  • A club before his last year at Barcelona was very fault and even his relation with Lionel Messi was beginning to break down at that stage.

  • And it does if you have an intense relationship over four years and you're pushing, pushing, pushing a player and even the really senior players at the club who we would think of as icons and legends were sent to local journalists as that it was getting very intense.

  • But he ended and the way he plays what he demands.

  • This place you're asking awful lots.

  • Then you go into the well again and again get and we saw that.

  • I think it's a Latin documentary.

  • You know how much you have demand years that there's a behind the scenes documentary that came out last year, so I think it's inevitable that after four years, people going, what is he actually office?

  • He's committed on paper for one more year, but that would be the longest He's done a club.

  • I I would be surprised he did beyond five years if he went, you know, if he if he signed a new contract, it would personally surprised me.

  • But, you know, he may feel that Manchester is where he wants to set himself up.

  • There's less pressure than being a basket, and it's clear that being a bastard and being in cattle and that's a unique kind of pressure take on yourself.

  • It's a little bit out of it there, so I think that's where it comes from, A Chase said.

  • We've not seen him take a club and take month of 5 to 8 years before.

  • Could this become a bit of a problem If we're entering the final year of his contract, we still don't know really whether he's going to sign a new one and it always talk about overhaul of players in the summer.

  • We know David Silver's going after a decade new breed coming through the likes of Phil Phone, but if you're trying to attract new players, and you're not sure whether the greatest manager that you really want to play for was still gonna be there.

  • Actually, I was at the press conference where you've alluded to some of the headlines.

  • They're about him saying players will still top plays well, still sound from one city with around there or no, because he believes that city have reached such a level now, in a global sense that they're in attraction in their own right, not just because of him, but there's no doubt about it that if Pep Guardiola, your manager, you're gonna want to go there.

  • So and And he was very he chose his words carefully about it.

  • Could have said, That's not an issue.

  • I'm gonna be here.

  • You didn't.

  • You just said, Why would he say that?

  • Perhaps there's no reason to commit himself.

  • But while he can't have dances around that these the issue on his future, there's gonna be speculation.

  • It's inevitable that will be on Did Rob.

  • I can't see him staying 5 to 8 years because he's never done that before, and the intensity with which he works in the lots of seen it himself when he's when he's working.

  • He's kind of put so much into it that inevitably at some point you're going to reach a stage where you need a break and maybe a players need a break from you because he demands so much in the operates at such a high level On also the problem he's got is that and we're already seeing signs of it now.

  • They didn't replace mention company, and he's now good losing David Silver.

  • They've probably got a more or less sort of a potential replacement in billfold in because photon has got huge potential hasn't been given yet the free rein to perhaps develop in the way that some city funds would have hoped you would have done by now, but he will get that chance is no doubt about that.

  • But then, maybe in a year 18 months or so, he's gonna lose Aguero.

  • So there is gonna pay a kind of a churn of players.

  • It's similar in weight of the way Manchester United's kind of you know they're famous.

  • Five kind of suddenly disappeared and united We're left with the huge problem having to replace those players, and sometimes you just can't I think where his props falling down this season is he didn't really identify so much.

  • They may be the issue of losing company on.

  • Of course, he didn't quit.

  • You couldn't possibly bargain for the fact that I'm Eric Report was gonna be injured for most in season.

  • And I think that's been hugely, hugely influential in city, dropping off off the pace the way City plays every single player in the team.

  • Particularly, these fullbacks have got to be at it 90 minutes every single day.

  • Game on have not.

  • Bean.

  • Catwalk has not been a good, perhaps drunken sailor who is bought on a CZ.

  • Not really kind of them delivered.

  • I don't think he's a question mark over Benjamin Mendy.

  • Zinchenko.

  • He's in, He's out s.

  • So I think there are big issues for him to address, and it sounds like his he's gonna have to rebuild that team.

  • Alex Ferguson was a master of doing every two or three years when he did it when they were at the top on.

  • I think Waddy always got to do that, but he's no, he's no riel kind of experience of doing that.

  • I don't know What's wrong, Sissy?

  • I gotta say, I don't think it's like Manchester night.

  • It's all I think.

  • I think they're much better shape of my three players need to be replaced.

  • Yeah, I think people talking about overhaul of the team in the spending spree Well, they can't do that anyway.

  • It's gonna cost too much money in f f.

  • P is gonna kick in.

  • They can't really spend a huge amount of money they can move players on.

  • I think someone, for example, will go with generate quite cash for them.

  • I think if you look, there are older players, everything.

  • I think they're just strategic sort of approach to take now changed two or three positions and I think they'll be fine.

  • I don't think they're that far off me.

  • What you last Sunday I was, I was taught them.

  • I mean, they actually destroyed talking them.

  • There's just that just a little bit off what they used to be.

  • I think it won't taken awful lot to change it again.

  • Maybe in these Guardiola to commit himself to say right.

  • Okay, I'm gonna do this.

  • I'm gonna stay here for three or four years.

  • I am going to rebuild this team.

  • I'm going to go again on that might just settle everything down.

  • I think it's more just a question of fine tuning rather than a huge change.

  • That's that's why I feel I just don't think they're in that bad a situation well.

  • It will be a 22 points off the leaders, magnified by the way.

  • Liverpool.

  • Yeah, obviously that.

  • But that's the point is so that it requires level to come back to them because in the normal season they wouldn't be in crisis now that being a title race and that be there or thereabouts when they.

  • But then you assuming that next season live bullet going T O.

  • Here's a 25 point, actually, If Liverpool, if living will put two or three seasons together playing football like this, you know, I think City are going to struggle to keep up with them on, and I'm not sure Pep Guardiola, this is kind of manager who likes going into seasons where he's probably thinks he's going to finish second best.

  • I think he wanted to rise the challenge, wouldn't you say That's what I think I think, to get themselves back to the 100 point season.

  • I think they've got quite a bit of work to do.

  • Agree there?

  • No.

  • Then it's not ridiculous.

  • Say that they're a terrible club because clearly second table and they got 198 points of a lot of past seasons.

  • They can't be most way, but they do have work to do to get up to Liverpool Standard, and they're not showing that I have to go into the market to do it on their constrained in the market.

  • So it's not entirely clear how they're going to do then We're the Champions League.

  • Oh, this season, then then that would be an amazing step forward for them.

  • But I I think that's the step forward they need to make.

  • You know, they wouldn't have proved it can win the Premier League, you know they're in the car about cup final again.

  • I'm really cups of the 134 They don't need another one.

  • That was what they need is the Champions League and I think, probably meeting around Madrid side who were probably in similar soft.

  • They're not gonna get another chance been playing like this, so they know that it's a necessary step up.

  • It may be that when the heat of competition comes and I have to step up, they will because, as Jason said, it's hard to raise yourself when you know there's no lots playful but playing like there's a danger plane for their by their standards in a mediocre fashion.

  • Then going to play a Real Madrid on getting found out.

  • Well, the Champions League will bring a fresh intensity to that, won't it?

  • I mean, it was interesting.

  • Interview on on Sky essay.

  • Don't if you saw.

  • Is that Bernardo Silver?

  • He basically gave us an insight into the dressing room, saying, a month ago we were sort of 10 15 points off them on our intensity dropped because we, you know, heads dropped.

  • We thought, it's all over, and now the gap is 22 points and saying We should never have let ourselves do that, and it's got themselves into this pickle ways.

  • You think with the intensity of that rail Madrid two legged tie.

  • Surely that will raise them again.

  • It's almost like a fresh start.

  • It is exactly that and I think that's where the port is so important that they want to get a report back.

  • I think they feel the port changes of team because obviously in the absence of Vincent Cos the closest they've got two dominant Van Dyke style sent 1/2.

  • That's what they need in their team.

  • I think he's the key.

  • I think they see him coming back for that.

  • Tires the absolute key to this season, really, to be on it.

  • So when they brought him back for the chef with you again, I think you might even be available today, I think, but they need him to be there.

  • But I think you're right.

  • It's human nature to a degree to step off, say something like a race with somebody pulling away from me away, pulling away.

  • You won't keep takes naps in the same way.

  • But actually, professionally, you think, Well, maybe you should be sort of stepping up now, Really, especially going into that champion leads.

  • No, it's not a tap you can turn on and off.

  • I mean dangerous.

  • If you go into that game against Real Madrid, not at it, then then they'll go out.

  • They will Ondas Rob says.

  • They're not.

  • They're not playing well enough to win the Champions League the moment they can play well enough but can become.

  • They do it from now on to the into the season, and that's the challenge for them.

  • Midwinter break, probably after today, might might work from that.

  • Reset the season start again, but it's very difficult to sort of say, Well, actually, well, we'll put it all on the Champions League.

  • You can't do that.

  • It doesn't work like that.

  • I've noticed that city last couple seasons have had this aura of invincibility about them.

  • You know that people were beaten before he even went on the pitch against them.

  • Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

  • And I sense that's weighing dip Manchester City.

  • Now I suspect that teams go there with the hope that they can actually get results, not maybe beat them, but but certainly get a point off them and something.

  • We have seen some things being at the mansion.

  • I did beat them a couple of times.

  • Much is now You're in dire straits this season s o that aura of invincibility that city have had and that Gaudio has already had.

  • I think that's been completely taken by Liverpool and Clock next season, Phil Food and you'd expect to be one of the key plays in there.

  • Stepping up.

  • You did a pieces with Jason about He'll be a club legend the next 10 12 years.

  • He's only ever completed 90 minutes in the in the Premier close.

  • He's only ever played one for 90 minutes in the league.

  • And 20 it's interested.

  • We looked at all the stats about that, the position he plays for his age.

  • He's actually played quite a lot of football.

  • You know, you don't get 19 year olds playing in that midfield role in top teams, usually forward with white players who play Maur at that age.

  • But this is a key year now.

  • This is the year that he has to do it because this is usually breakthrough year.

  • When you get to 19 to 20 that's the Eva.

  • You have to get into the team.

  • I have to play regularly and you play.

  • You play in minutes.

  • Look at people like the broiler.

  • They didn't play very much before this age either, but he needs to do it right now.

  • So I think that's what that's the conversation is having with somebody was, well, what is the plan for Phil Phone.

  • He was very effusive about photon voting will get the chance he will be Double Silver's replacement.

  • We will play him on.

  • That wasn't that.

  • Was somebody close to God the older saying that?

  • So I think he's looking at that for next season.

  • Say yes, he will get the opportunity.

  • It may happen before them, and it's been better for him to trade.

  • And that's always been The debate.

  • Should have gone out on life.

  • They never send him alone.

  • Yeah, yeah, exactly.

  • Training with those place he might have picked up a thing or two.

  • What do you reckon?

  • Looking West Ham, who they face today clearly in a wretched position.

  • The bottom of the Premier League formed table over the last eight games, only taking five points.

  • And now this matches they've got coming up.

  • My goodness, man.

  • City away today.

  • Then they got a 15 day break.

  • Liverpool away slide on sky at Southampton home Arsenal way walls home