1 The fourth-placed Citizens have two games remaining and wins in both of those fixtures will see them secure Champions League football for next year.“The expectations were there for all to see,” Lake said.“He started like a house on fire with 10 games and 10 wins, everyone was singing about Guardiola.“Then there was the Celtic game, Brendan Rodgers set up really well and after that lots of sides set up against City in a certain way. Then we struggled at home against Everton and Southampton, had a couple of draws and defeats then the Chelsea game we dominated up to half time and the wheels came off.“There have been lots of issues, Vincent Kompany has come back and been sorely missed, but you cannot make any excuses.“They have got a big squad, lots of talented players, they have had to change their style of play completely, having to put square pegs into round holes at times and it has not quite worked for him.”Man City’s first game is against West Brom on Tuesday before finishing at Watford on Sunday.The Baggies have been out of form in recent games, but they can still secure an eighth-place finish, while Walter Mazzarri’s Hornets, 16th, have secured their spot in the division next season.“You’d have to say [Tuesday’s] game is absolutely everything because West Brom have got no form to speak of, they have lost five of their last six games albeit they put up a good fight against Chelsea at home.“It is a game where if City can turn all these chances into goals and see the game off nice and early – which they have failed to do all season. They have created so many chances and just not taken them. That, for me, has been their biggest problem.“If they can just see it out and hopefully other teams will have a blip. You want to finish your last game of the season on a high, so it is going to be tough to go to Watford, but you have to say with the quality in City’s side it should be two games, six points and qualification for the Champions League next season.”Listen to Paul Lake on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast in full, above… Manchester City hero Paul Lake has defended Pep Guardiola after his recent comments, saying he understands what the Spaniard means and he has ultimately been in brought in to change the club’s image across the continent.Guardiola has been criticised for admitting a poor debut season at a ‘big club’ would have seen him sacked at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.City have won two Premier League titles and a League Cup in the last five years and Lake admits it has been hard for them to get the recognition over England’s household names and it is hoped recruiting Guardiola last summer will change that.“Everyone has got their own personal opinions about it,” Lake, who made over 100 appearances for the Citizens, told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“In terms of clubs that have had that success, obviously [there has been] Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal over the years, certainly with Premier League titles and Champions League titles, and that is where the European mindset will be, looking at English clubs and thinking who has had that success.“That is why Manchester City will always be seen at a lower level to those clubs and that is the reason they have got Pep Guardiola into the fray. That is the bit that is missing for City.”When asked by co-host Micky Quinn if they are a big club, Lake responded: “You’re asking a Man City fan! [Of] course we are.“It just feels like Pep has not quite had the rhythm of the team he’s wanted, we’ve stopped and started the Champions League and trying to maintain that consistency, it’s just not quite been there.“I do obviously understand what he is saying in terms of if he had been at Bayern Munich or Barca he wouldn’t have kept his job.”Guardiola, 46, has had a tough first season in England which will see him end the campaign without silverware – and possibly even finishing outside of the top four.
mmteafsb December 27, 2019 admin