Pep Guardiola has been found out, says Paul Merson, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Pep Guardiola has been found out, says Paul Merson

With champions Manchester City 22 points adrift of runaway English Premier League leaders Liverpool, former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Pep Guardiola has been "found out" this season.

After collecting the full complement of domestic trophies on offer last campaign and setting a new EPL points record a season earlier, Guardiola's side have endured a patchy season by their standards this time around.

After City's second straight defeat in all competitions by Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday, ex-England man Merson told Sky Sports: "Very worrying for Guardiola - the league is out, they are 22 points behind and I sit there and think: 'He is fortunate to get away with it.'

"I think he thinks 'I am that attacking that I do not have to play with a centre-half', but he has been found out this season.

"Do not get me wrong - they could play... next week and beat you 8-0... But it is impossible for them to be 22 points behind.

"If they played each other 10 times over the next few weeks, there is no way Liverpool would win all 10 games.

"You would probably side with Man City on their day. Which is strange."

Merson's former Arsenal and England teammate Ian Wright, however, still believes City can have a "great season", if they win their first Champions League crown.

City, who have already booked their place in the League Cup final and are still in the FA Cup, meet Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League at the end of the month.

Wright said on the BBC: "You feel if they don't win the Champions League, then it's not a good season. But if they do win it, it's a great season.

"I would start saving players for it because that's what City have got to start focusing on."

Guardiola, who won two Champions League titles at Barcelona, has not managed to take City beyond the quarter-finals of the competition.

"With the team he assembled, we thought it would happen in his tenure," Wright added.