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  • David Tyrer

Guardiola's mind games continue ahead of LFC vs Cardiff

During the Man City manager's spells at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, there was little competition for the Spaniard domestically, with Real Madrid only occasionally rearing their heads to put in a title challenge.

Whilst in the German top division, Borussia Dortmund had long since lost their lustre by the time Guardiola arrived. And any good players they still had left, he made sure he bought to do away with the competition.

Likewise, last season in the Premier League, he had it all his own way, after making sure he wasn't challenged by spending almost £300 million during the summer transfer window following uncharacteristic struggles during his first 12 months in the English game.

But this season he's been troubled a great deal by the Reds, who have not let up the same frantic pace that City have continued this season, so Guardiola has felt the need to engage in what can only be his first, weak efforts at mind games.

The city of Manchester is not new the old mind games, of course, producing probably the best recent purveyor of the art since Bill Shankly himself.

So following City's lucky, narrow win over Spurs for the 2nd time this week, the first thing the Spaniard had to do was mention Liverpool.

He said: "Especially after 100 points last season, we have the best Liverpool ever, and one of the best sides I have played against offensively, so being still there, with having one of the best players not being involved for much of the season (Kevin De Bruyne), and being there every few days it is really remarkable, and when I appreciate the most of my players.

"Of course we want to win it, but I will not judge if at the end we cannot do it, because I will give a lot of credit to Liverpool."

May seem like a small thing, but nothing that top-level coaches do and say is without meaning or fore thought and the City manager will have known full-well what he was doing.

Because if he genuinely believes that this is the best LFC side ever (it may well go on to be), he obviously hasn't watched a lot of Liverpool sides from the 70's and 80's. Many of which were considered some of the greatest footballing sides in football history.

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