Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero has questioned his former manager Pep Guardiola’s decision not to bring on Julián Álvarez against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
The game ended up being a 1-1 draw for Man City (not a bad result to take back for the second leg at home whatsoever) with Kevin De Bruyne having to answer back with a rifled shot after Madrid opened the scoring through an equally impressive rocket from Vinicius Jr.
However, even after City drew level in the 67th minute and had plenty of time to try and grab a winner, Guardiola opted not to make a single change throughout the entirety of the game despite the talent at his disposal — a decision that left many fans scratching their heads.
Sergio Aguero was left wondering the same thing too, as it turns out. Reacting to the stalemate, the club’s all-time leading goalscorer criticised Pep for not only refusing to make a substitution but for failing to pick one player, in particular: Álvarez.
Speaking on the AlbicelesteTalk podcast after the full-time whistle, the now-retired Argentine striker couldn’t help but wonder why the Catalan coach didn’t bring on his fellow countryman to try and score a second which could have proved vital in the tie overall.
“What I don’t understand is why he didn’t put Julián [on]. I wonder, but well it’s Pep.” The 23-year-old has registered 15 goals and five assists in 44 appearances this season, most of them coming off the bench, and has impressed City fans and neutrals alike almost every time he plays.
Aguero went on to say, “If it was up to me I would play Julián in almost every game because we need him to be active and for him to have a spark,” clearly backing his compatriot to play from the start more regularly. I mean, he has just won a World Cup, to be fair.
Although Pep hasn’t gone for the overkill of having Haaland and Álvarez on the pitch at the same time too often — and you rarely want to sub someone as inevitable as the Norwegian is — it’s hard to see why he wouldn’t put on fresh legs and another serious attacking threat when trying to win a game.
On the other hand, the 52-year-old is obviously a master tactician and will no doubt have had his reasons, and is certainly no strange to being reserved when it comes to subs. In fact, last year he was among the managers to have made the fewest changes over the course of the season.
Featured Image — Manchester City/Sergio Aguero/Julián Álvarez (via Instagram)
Manchester City’s Matheus Nunes rolls back the years and goes to work at Flat Baker in Ancoats
Manchester City star Matheus Nunes has already impressed many during his short time at the Etihad so far, but he impressed a few more this weekend not with his skills on the pitch but in the kitchen after moonlighting at a popular Manchester bakery, The Flat Baker in Ancoats.
The recent Man City signing might only have the one assist to his name during his time as a Blue thus far, but he’s served up more than a baker’s dozen to local Manc residents thanks to a quick shift as a pastry chef this past weekend.
However, it was by no means his first time in the kitchen, as Nunes revealed that he used to work in a bakery during the earlier days of his footballing career.
Getting put to work on one of The Flat Baker‘s bestsellers, their unbelievably addictive pastel de natas — trust us, they’re utterly sinful these things — the bakery’s owners Débora and her husband, also called Matheus, got the City star back up to speed. You can see the full video here:
That being said, as you can see, the 25-year-old midfielder was a bit of a dab hand after a few goes at it; the fact he not only had prior experience but also shares the same heritage as the bakery’s founders no doubt helped.
Born in Brazil but raised in Portugal — two places where these unmistakable sweet treats are most famous — Nunes explained how he, his mother and English step-father moved to Europe for “a better life” and to help his chances of becoming a footballer.
The former Wolves player went on to explain how he “failed a lot in school” and eventually his mum gave him a choice: “give up football or school, in order to start working”.
Starting out in his godfather’s bakery, he went on to spend a fair bit of time making bread and pastries and even appeared in a similar video back in Portugal after signing for Sporting Lisbon.
Naturally, the trio did eventually touch on football a little bit, with Nunes discussing what it’s like to play under Pep Guardiola and how nice it’s been to arrive at a club where there are plenty of Portuguese-speaking players like Ederson, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and others.
Débora also joked about how he has fared getting used to ‘Rainchester’ and he was polite enough to smile it off and simply reiterated that playing for City was oppurtunity he culdn’t pass up.
So, if things don’t work out in the Premier League, he can always swap the sky blue shirt of city for a lovely chef’s apron and help out over at The Flat Baker.
Featured Image — Manchester City/Sporting Club de Portugal (via YouTube)
Tributes pour in for Manchester City legend and former chairman Franny Lee
Tributes are being paid to Manchester City legend and former chairman Francis ‘Franny’ Lee CBE, who has passed away aged 79.
The ex-Man City, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and England star is said to have passed away in the early hours on Monday morning, 2 October, following a long battle with cancer.
Speaking via a club statement, his wife Gill along with children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik said, “He will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words”.
Both Manchester teams led tributes to the British footballing legend, with avid City fan Liam Gallagher and countless others joining in paying their respects.
Franny Lee scored 148 goals in 330 appearances during eight-year City, helping the club win multiple honours during their first periods of success, including the old First Division title back in 1968.
Born in Lancashire and starting out elsewhere in Greater Manchester at Bolton Wanderers, he also went on to play for Derby following his time with the Blues, helping the Rams to their second-ever title in 1975.
The striker also had 27 caps for England between 1968–1972, scoring 10 goals and winning FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield twice at club level during that period.
Honouring their former centre-forward who went on to serve as Chairman for four years from 1994 onwards, the club statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of former Manchester City player and Chairman Francis Lee, aged 79”, adding that flags around the Etihad Campus are flying at half-mast.
His first club, Bolton, said of the former marksman, “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
As for legacy as for his time in Blue, the club had already planned to immortalise Lee prior to his death, announcing the erection of a statue back in May 2022, the reveal date of which will no doubt be moved up following his passing.
The club has also assured that “more tributes will follow in the coming days.”
Rest in peace to a legend.
Featured Image — Manchester City/England/Bolton Wanderers (via Twitter)