Pep Guardiola confirms Phil Foden's position at Man City




The Manchester City manager has spoken highly about the youngster this week but did not start him against Lyon


Phil Foden could have made all the difference for Manchester City against Lyon. Or no difference whatsoever.

The point, still, is that nobody knows.

For all the pre-match talk from the manager about how much the Stockport teenager has matured and was definitely ready for such a big game , when it came to it Pep Guardiola instead opted to leave him on the bench and play Raheem Sterling out of position in the middle instead.

Foden was not the only one overlooked - Fabian Delph, recently seen captaining England, did not start either - but it raises a question when Guardiola talks a player up so much but doesn't pick him even when three of the players in front of him for selection are injured.

It is only because of what has been said that the pressure is so much; there would be no outrage if the experienced coach said the 18-year-old was not quite on the level of his senior teammates.

However, Guardiola insists that Foden must be treated the same as any other player, and so his words come under more scrutiny with every opportunity that passes.

Having said on the eve of the game that the starlet was definitely ready for such a stage, he countered after the match that so is Brahim Diaz. One comment put Foden in the same bracket as the best players in the league, the next with fellow untested prospects and one that is unlikely to still be at the club next season.

The bottom line is that the manager will not put any individual above the team, and he continues to show that he can draw significant improvement from players of all ages.

 But that can't be said of Foden yet, because he hasn't been seen enough to be able to calculate the progress (even if staying in a title-winning squad is a feat in itself).

Guardiola is trusted by the owners to bring City's youngsters through, and as of summer Foden spoke about being happy to stay and learn from the manager, Mikel Arteta and the coaching staff every day even if he was not racking up the minutes.

Until at least one of those things changes, no amount of urging from supporters, journalists, or even England manager Gareth Southgate is going to hurry up a process in which the City coach is controlling the pace and without sharing it.

If his matchwinning performance against Oxford in the Carabao Cup felt like a significant leap forward, Foden does not know if his next start is going to come in days, weeks, or months.

But Guardiola does, so Foden needs to be ready just in case.

Pep Guardiola confirms Phil Foden's position at Man City Pep Guardiola confirms Phil Foden's position at Man City Reviewed by SISI JOKE on November 28, 2018 Rating: 5

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