Pep Guardiola criticises Kevin De Bruyne for not doing ‘simple things’ | Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has criticised Kevin De Bruyne for not doing the “simple things”, with Manchester City’s manager stating he has repeatedly told the midfielder to get back to this.
The Belgian 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 will improve when the basics are returned to.
He 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 [for him] 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.
“But I always have the belief that they will increase and get better when the simple things [are done]: like don’t lose the ball, the mobility, the incredible capacity to be active in the movement. 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 of 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 can be better,” he said then. “He is not playing at his top level. His dynamic [movements] are not perfect. He knows, I spoke to him.”