The Spaniard says there is no choice but to keep making changes because of a too crowded list of teams
Pep Guardiola has defended his rotation policy amid Manchester City’s ongoing bid to win four, claiming that “UEFA and FIFA killed the players” in their timing choices.
Guardiola made six changes in his first XI as City moved one step closer to the Premier League title by defeating Leicester City 2-0 at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The Spanish tactician has pledged to continue tinkering with his line ahead of the Champions League quarter-final meeting with Borussia Dortmund, and insists his players cannot be expected to play three games a week without proper rest.
What was said?
“They are humans, they are not machines,” Guardiola told reporters. “I know the players, some are upset all the time because they want to play every day but it is not possible.
“Compete in all competitions this year without spectators, in the shortest competition ever, (if) you do not spin you are not competing in all competitions and will not be in the situation we are in now.
“Of course they can play, they have an amazing mentality but they need rest. UEFA and FIFA have killed the players because it’s too much. We’ve not had one day off in the middle of the week since we started, not even one.
“There is no player who can sustain (it), not just physically but mentally to be ready every day to face the opponents to win the game. It is impossible.
“I turn around I’m a genius, ‘well done Pep’ but when we lose and I turn people around say ‘why turn around? You have to play the players like normal’. But it’s not sustainable.
“In the next game we’re going to play fresh legs and against Leeds [United], More than ever, feet fresh. “
How many games could City have left in 2020-21?
City also have a FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea and a Carabao final clash with Tottenham to watch later this month.
If they make it to the finals of the former competition and the Champions League, Guardiola’s team will play a total of another 15 games before the end of the current season.
City will face Dortmund on Tuesday after just two full days of rest before looking forward to their top-flight encounter with Leeds next weekend.
The big picture
City may make their lives easier if they collect at least 11 points from the next three houses in the Premier League, which will be enough for them to achieve the title.
Guardiola will be able to make wholesale changes in his team’s last four games while placing his strongest squad in the Cup competitions.
City have already proven they have enough power in depth to compete on four silverware fronts, and if their manager continues to manage minutes effectively in the final weeks of the campaign, few would bet against them to win all the trophies offered.
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