Eventful year for Willy Caballero at Man City

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Willy Caballero culminated as an incredible goalkeeper for Manchester City after his extraordinary penalty save in the 5-3 Champions League victory over Monaco. One year ago, there was an online petition signed by the City fans in order to persuade the then-boss Manuel Pellegrini to leave the cup keeper out of the Capital One Cup final. They asked him to select Joe Hart instead. Caballero played in the match, collected his Winners’ medal and became the City No.1.

In the span of 12 months, Pellegrini and Hart have moved on to China and Italy respectively. Caballero is now the first choice keeper of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad. His contract is ending this summer and there are speculations that the City boss could offer a new deal to the 35 year old at the end of the season.

This has been an incredible turnaround for a keeper who was considered as a competition to Hart after his move in July but became a nervous and hesitant flop.

Pallegrini picked out Caballero knowing about his qualities from the time together at Malaga. They were a part of the run to the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2013. The Chilean considered him as a potential rival to Hart and thought that he would push the highly rated England keeper to get better.

Willy had to struggle during the first 18 months due to individual errors and indecision that created uncertainty throughout the defence.  Pellegrini believed in him as a keeper for the domestic cup competitions. But he committed mistakes on their run to the Capital One Cup final in the third round win over Sunderland and semifinal first leg defeat at Everton.

He was blamed for the 5-1 defeat FA Cup defeat at Chelsea one week before the Wembley final against Liverpool. Pellegrini was put under pressure to make a change but he refused saying that he would rather lose a title than to lose his word and there was no chance of Willy not playing the match.

He made the right decision as Caballero became the unlikely hero in the penalty shootout victory. His spot kick saves from Lucas and Philippe Coutinho helped to put City ahead. When Adam Lallana arrived to take the fourth penalty, Caballero was indomitable. He was fluently diving full length to his right in order to keep out the effort of the England midfielder.

It was a spectacular moment for the Keeper and he received a lot of affection from the City fans after the Capital One Cup final. It looked like a glorious ending to a difficult two season at the Etihad and he was expected to move with his old ally Pellegrini as Guardiola came in. But surprisingly he allowed the England keeper Hart to go on loan to Torino and Caballero remained in the team.

He was driven in to the action for the Champions League clash with Barcelona when Bravo was suspended in November. In January he was chosen over Bravo for the Premier League clash with West Ham. There were flaws in his performance and Caballero took responsibility for Radamel Falcao’s fist goal. But he made up for it with the penalty save that put Monaco 3-1 ahead and another save at the dying minute which provided a two-goal advantage to City. This has been quite a turnaround for a keeper whose future looked desolate at the initial days.

Tottenham fightback vs. Man City shows the team have come long way- Lloris

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Tottenham vs Man city ended with a draw and according to Hugo Lloris, if it would have been the previous spurs team, they would have crumbled at the Etihad.

Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne took advantage of the mistakes committed by Lloris to give City a two-goal lead. The 11th league goal of the season from Dele Alli halved the deficit and Son Heung-Min’s equaliser goal soon after Kyle Walker appeared to push a clean-through Raheem left the City manager Pep Guardiola exasperated.

Lloris was a Tottenham member when the teams lost 6-0 and 4-1 at the Etihad. They lost 5-1 at White Hart Lane before Mauricio Pochettino took charge. Lloris believes that the Saturday’s point shows that the spurs are now made of sterner stuff.

Lloris told the media that the team have been taking after the match and it’s a big change from the past days. He said that even three years ago it would have been very difficult to come back in the game after a score of 2-0 and may be they would have been defeated badly.

He also said that the first was due to their bad luck and the second one was his personal mistake. They might have given up but things are different now. They have changed their mentality and game plan in the last two or three seasons.

According to Lloris, City played their best game of the season but they won the point with their spirit. It was very important for them. Tottenham’s vice captain Harry Kane also agreed and said that a few seasons ago it would have gone 3-0 or 4-0 and it would have ended that way. But now they have started to dig deep. Even though it was not a great performance they dug deep and came out with something.

Kane added that finding a couple of gear after a score of 2-0 and bad performance speaks for itself. It shows their improvement as a team.

Before the match all eyes were on Claudio Bravo, goalkeeper of City who rarely makes a save. But the France captain cost his team with two errors in just five minutes of the game. He left an empty net infront of Sane before spilling a cross at De Bruyne’s feet.

Lloris said that they are in a position where even a single mistake could cost them a lot. This was not his first time and this might not be his last time but it was the responsibility of the goal keeper.

He also added that he was very much in the game just like his team members even after 2-0 down and he is happy that they scored a point at the end. The feelings would have been different if the match was lost. He also said that he will try to perform better from the next time.

Spurs will be in Barcelona from Sunday to Wednesday for warm weather training. Toby was replaced with a tight hamstring at City but he is hoping for a short lay off. The club insists that Danny Rose is not seriously injured although he left the Etihad with his knee in brace.

Pep Guardiola in the worst bend of his Career with Man City

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Pep Guardiola received a royal treatment as a footballer when he arrived in England. It was believed that Manchester City have found the right man in order to end their struggles and success was just a few miles away. Pep’s style and sophistication both on and off the pitch is pretty well known and his presence would have made the City’s rivals jealous.

Pep himself confessed that it was not going to be a simple task. He was warned by the other coaches such as Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool saying that Premier League was a more demanding beast than most of the other championships.

Manchester City had a brilliant start and the prosperity of the team was noticeable. The revolution seemed to be instantaneous and a one-horse title race looked in prospect.

The 10 matches that were won by City and the number of goals were unfortunately followed by 6 matches without any victory. This has been the worst run of Guardiola’s career and it is also believed that not all the players are finding it comfortable to play the game in Pep’s way.

Defender John stones is at the centre of the storm and his fan clubs include Glen Hoddle and Michael Owen. He is believed to grow as one of the most amazing players for the club and the country and his class is undoubtedly remarkable. But at the moment certain decisions taken by him are leading to costly errors and unravelled tension among the City fans.

One of the mistakes includes the errant back pass which presented Southampton with a goal and a point on Sunday at Etihad. Guardiola locked his players in the locker room for 50 minutes after the match. Kevin De Bruyne told that Pep asked the players to keep up the belief of how they are trying to play and they are doing the same.

This is significant of the story when Guardiola used to coach for Barcelona during his early days and the team was going through a rough time. The young coach was worried when one day Andres Iniesta came up to him and asked him to continue doing what he was doing. The rest is history and everyone has since the rise since then.

At the Nou camp pep could call on a certain players as his on-field disciples such as Messi, Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Dani Alves. The cast list was equally impressive at Bayern Munich although there he could not capture the title of Champions League.

Guardiola is clear with his intentions and he said that he would continue playing the same way until his last day as a coach. The problem with Pep’s team is that the rivals have a hint of their way of playing. But it will be too early to jump to any conclusion as this could be just a rough phase for the club as they are still on the top of the list, albeit the goal difference.

This seems to be his toughest assignment considering the quality of the opponents. The present moment concludes that City’s chances are no better than those of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea or Spurs.