Kevin De Bruyne wears his emotions up his sleeve. He is transparent, he is straightforward. He loves to speak his heart out when he is exasperated. The reporters need not poke him all the time in order to bring out the emotion of him.
Manchester City are faltering, winning just one of their last five games in all the competitions. What is more baffling is that the Cityzens are 11 points behind in the title race. It seems all but over for the Premier League champions.
De Bruyne is unequipped for veiling dissatisfaction and that was obvious at Newcastle. Two situations stuck out, recounting to an account of a midfielder who is conveying this group and who shows up progressively exasperated at City neglecting to hit their gaffer’s demanding guidelines.
Benjamin Mendy was reprimanded in French for griping at an immaterial throw-in, declining to give the ball back to Newcastle.
Riyad Mahrez was shouted at to remain wide as he subliminally coasted infield. These two situations define the character of the City midfielder. He is vocal and directs his team when nothing seems to go in their favour.
He is frantic to make City click again and is feeling the weight of creative duty as people around him waver, compelling the issue more than he might want. An unnecessarily fast free-kick, a 50-50 ball trying to bolster Gabriel Jesus, was proof.
It is hard not to feel an ache of compassion toward De Bruyne. He realizes the most recent couple of weeks have not been correct and brought matters into his own hands with his miracle strike close to the end which was nullified by Jonjo Shelvey’s considerably later equalizer.
An insubordinate Pep Guardiola was out later, tenacious that City are playing all around ok. He has the stats in his support. City had 77% possession and had 24 shots — yet there is no indication of that shroud of predominance they have worn so well in the last few seasons.
“Look at how many chances we created and how many we conceded,” said Guardiola who was adamant about not putting the blame on the players. He believed the team gave their best and it was not one of their days, which is quite regular in this season.
Guardiola continued, “We were much better than Newcastle. We never gave up. That is my feeling. Of course, the result is not good for us. But I have to analyse the performance and that was good.”
Even the Newcastle counterpart, Steve Bruce reiterated on the quality Man City possesses. “Oh I still think they’re a quality act,” said Bruce. “Absolutely. As good as you’re going to get.”
Bruce deserves huge credit in terms of the way he is making Newcastle United play. He understands the shortcomings of his team and moulded his team in the way they are more comfortable at – sit back and defend and hit the opposition with counter-attack. He also deserves credit for the way his team fought back twice against Man City.
The champions are attempting to find different methods of breaking sides down but this season they have been incapable on so many occasions.
Guardiola believes defenders are becoming braver in possession and can stretch his forward line, with Kyle Walker admitting: “The opposition are probably working us out a bit. Or the opposition are getting better.”
Walker made an impassioned plea to his team-mates inside the City dressing room, calling for them to stick together. It is high time the Cityzens sticks together and bring out the best and give Liverpool a run for their money.