You’d think that Pep Guardiola would be satisfied with Manchester City’s 3-0 triumph over Fulham at the weekend, nicely leading into their Champions League match against Lyon tomorrow night.
But no. Not only was he displeased by the perceived sloppiness that he saw, he also cancelled the players’ day off as a punishment. Nice.
About the Fulham fiasco (which most fans seemed happy enough with), Guardiola said, ‘One guy has the ball and they miss the ball and an extra simple pass, an extra touch, an extra touch and after miss the pass, that is why I am still angry. I am upset with my players and they know that.’
Pep. Chill out, man. You won. Have a can of Lilt and put your feet up.
So, is Guardiola the ultimate perfectionist, constantly seeking a performance level that simply isn’t attainable?
Or maybe he’s just pretending in order to seem a bit more enigmatic.
But if he is looking for some fresh ways to get the very best out of his City squad, I’ve come up with a few suggestions that’ll help him reach that level of pure perfection every time they play a match…
READ THE PLAYERS’ DREAMS
It’s a well-known fact that deep in the bowels of the Etihad Stadium is a laboratory staffed by 39 top scientists who work together lined up in ascending order of height, from a 4ft 8in brainbox right up to a 6ft 9in technician who cleans the ceilings with his afro.
Surely this collection of some of the finest minds in sports science has been able to knock out a contraption that can read the dreams of the players as they sleep.
If so, they can then be analysed and steps can be taken to help provide City’s stars with more comforting night-films in their brains, leading to better rest and improved on-pitch performance.
Whether it’s warm milk and a rusk before bedtime or a powerful tranquiliser that will put an end to Fernandinho’s recurring nightmares about being chased by a giant Orville carrying a tiny Keith Harris on his arm.
REGULATE THE LILT
It’s fine for Pep to have some Lilt when City win because he’s the boss and he’s earned the right. But is it right that the players chug down gallons of the beautiful tropical fizzy drink before, during and after training sessions? It can’t be, surely.
If Pep can get them down to, say, ten cans a day each, he’s bound to see an instant boost in performance.
It’s well known that freezing cold cryogenic chambers help speed up recovery from injuries, so if the players get their state-of-the-art vehicles converted into four-wheeled cryogenic dream machines (simply by installing a domestic freezer engine on the back seat), they’ll arrive for training each day in tip-top condition, albeit with icicles hanging from their nostrils.
ELECTRO SHOCK PUNISHMENT
It must drive Guardiola to distraction that he doesn’t have total control over his players once they step over the white line on to the pitch. One say, with some help from the club’s underground scientists, he’ll surely be able to control their brains with some kind of psychic joystick.
But for now, fitting them with headbands that he can remotely send an electric current through when they displease him in any way is surely the answer. Seeing Raheem Sterling convulsing in the middle of the opposition’s half because he hasn’t tracked back has to be inspiring for City’s younger fanbase.
BAN THE LILT ALTOGETHER
Forget what I said earlier – just go zero tolerance on the Lilt. If the heads of Lilt’s marketing department are reading this, I’d be happy to receive the Lilt that is currently supplied to City.
Mmmmmm… lovely, lovely Lilt….