Former Manchester City star Trevor Sinclair believes Pep Guardiola tries to be too clever in the latter stages of the Champions League after his side were dumped out by Lyon on Saturday night.
City’s long wait for that elusive Champions League trophy continues as they suffered more quarter-final heartbreak in Lisbon.
Guardiola left a multitude of talent on the bench
Moussa Dembele struck either side of a truly shocking miss from Raheem Sterling after Kevin De Bruyne had cancelled out Maxwel Cornet’s opener.
But while Sterling’s miss and a howler by Ederson for the third goal will dominate the headlines, Guardiola will know his team selection backfired.
The Spanish tactician surprisingly fielded three centre-backs, leaving a multitude of attacking stars on the bench in a bid to match Lyon’s shape.
However, City looked uncomfortable in their new formation and only started to create chances when Riyad Mahrez entered the fray in the second-half.
Dembele, who has been linked with Man United, was the hero for Lyon
Sinclair points to Guardiola’s previous Champions League eliminations in recent years to suggest he has a tenancy to over-complicate things.
The former winger told talkSPORT: “It’s happened many times and I’m not jumping on any bandwagon, because he’s probably one of the best managers in the world.
“But remember when he was at Bayern Munich and he played a back three against the best front three in the world? He was undone there.
“He lost to Atletico when he was at Bayern, he left Aymeric Laporte out against Liverpool and dropped Sterling for Delph, he dropped Kevin De Bruyne against Spurs.
“It just seems like in these final stages, he over-complicates things unnecessarily.
Sterling could have levelled things up at 2-2 if he scored this
“We spoke before the game about players expressing themselves. The players were there to express themselves but they were given an almost impossible task with a new formation.”
BT Sport host Gary Lineker echoed those thoughts after the game, pointing to similarities with the late football genius Johan Cruyff.
“He [Pep] does outhink himself,” Lineker said.
“Johann Cruyff was the same. Sometimes you think, is he just doing this to look good?”