Coach Pep Guardiola insists Kyle Walker cannot play in Man City’s current system and that’s why he has to sit on the bench.
Kyle Walker lost his place in the Man City starting XI recently. And coach Pep Guardiola admits the English player is not suitable for the role of a virtual full-back, requiring more movement into the midfield when the home team has the ball.
“Kyle Walker can’t do it. He’s always got the pace, he’s the fastest player on the team. To bundle in, you need to make a few moves. He has other qualities.
Walker played in the role of a full-back with a four-back formation with Cancelo and Zinchenko. He actually did a great job. But with a system of three defenders and two midfielders, he can’t do it.”
Pep Guardiola also insisted that he did not use Kyle Walker purely for tactical reasons and not because of losing faith in the 32-year-old.
“He can kick the ball in and has done it many times. But Walker needed time to adapt to the new system and we didn’t. This is just a matter of skill.
Sometimes you need specific skills. You can’t ask Mahrez to play at full-back because he can’t. The reason Walker didn’t play was because of tactics. It’s not like we’ve lost faith in him.”
This weekend, Man City will face Southampton in the Premier League. They will then host Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.