Pep Guardiola has criticised Kevin De Bruyne for not doing the “simple things”, with the Manchester City manager stating he has repeatedly told the midfielder to get back to this.
De Bruyne leads the Premier League assists chart with 13 and his three in the Champions League put him one behind the highest. But Guardiola is intent the 31‑year‑old Belgian will improve when he returns to the basics.
The manager said: “It’s been a difficult season for all of us, me included, due to the World Cup and many things. I’m not going to discover [how good]Kevin [is]. What I’d like – I spoke many times to him – is to go to the easy principles and do it well.
He has an incredible ability to make an assist, to score goals and see passes like no one else.
“The simple things: do it again better and better. When this is going to happen the rest will come along.”
Guardiola pointed to Erling Haaland as an example. “I don’t want him to just score goals and the rest I don’t care. So he will score and [if]he will be involved in the game it means that you run inside of the game, the ball is coming and you put the ball in the net.
“With Kevin it’s the same. When the simple things are done perfectly, we are in the right moment [to]move outside, inside, and when we have to attack the channels or whatever you do or feel in that moment, the actions to create incredible passes that he – only he – can find, it will be easier, it will be better.”
De Bruyne has been a replacement for three of City’s past seven Premier League games. In October, Guardiola also criticised him. “He is not playing at his top level,” he said then. “His dynamic [movements]are not perfect. He knows, I spoke to him.”
Source: The Guardian