'I want more!' - Pep Guardiola challenges Jack Grealish & Kevin De Bruyne to step it up despite Man City duo being influential in Arsenal win
- Grealish made big-money move in 2021
- Struggled to live up to expectations
- Both he & De Bruyne have been crucial recently
WHAT HAPPENED? England international Grealish has been operating under the brightest of spotlights at the Etihad Stadium ever since he smashed the British transfer record in a £100 million ($113m) move from Aston Villa in 2021. He did become a Premier League title winner in his debut campaign with City, but registered just six goals and four assists and struggled for a spark again at the start of the 2022-23 campaign. Favour has been earned of late though, with a vital strike recorded in a 3-1 victory over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, and the general consensus is that a confident character has got his swagger back.
WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed on how he helped to guide that process along, Guardiola has said of demanding more from Grealish: “Obviously he's playing really good. I talk to him about his decision making... the quality was always there but his commitment to take a risk in important decisions is right now making the difference. He has to continue.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Guardiola is also hoping that Kevin De Bruyne, who netted City’s first against Arsenal, is back to his best, with the Blues starting to move through the gears in defence of their Premier League title. The Catalan coach added on his Belgian midfield maestro: “Really good, it's like Jack, like everyone. I'm so pleased for everything. But I want more. I have a feeling Kevin and Jack can do more and they can do it. Make a fantastic goal but I know the demands we have in front of us, tough competition, and we need the players to have the feeling they can do better.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? City moved to the top of the table with victory at Arsenal and will be looking to cement that standing, as they only lead by goal difference at present, when they take in a trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.