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Pep Guardiola Claims Manchester City's Under 23 Team Should Play In The Championship Or League One

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Pep Guardiola Claims Manchester City's Under 23 Team Should Play In The Championship Or League One

Pep Guardiola has called for his Under 23 team to be allowed to play in the Championship or League One, and called Adebayo Akinfenwa a legendary striker.

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Guardiola complained before Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie with Wycombe Wanderers that he was going to have to play some of his under 23 players, and it's not the only thing he's complained about recently.

He did just that, mainly in defence, but also paired them with Phil Foden, Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres, a group of attackers with Premier League titles and hundreds of international caps between them.

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The kids that City did put out fared quite well, only conceding once in a 6-1 win, and Cole Palmer came off the bench to score the English champions final goal.

After the game the former Barcelona manager claimed that under 23 football in England wasn't good enough to prepare his players for nights like Tuesday and claimed his young team should be able to play in the Championship or League One.

Guardiola claimed that the best development for his young players would be if they could come up against a 'legend' striker every week.

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The City boss was referring to Adebayo Akinfenwa, who started the game, and is well known for his huge physicality for Wycombe.

Pep wanted his younger players not to play against other young players, where they win five, six and seven nil every time, having just seen his side win by five.

In Spain, B teams do play in the football pyramid, with Guardiola cutting his managerial teeth with Barca's second side, but in England it would be much tougher with the stronger tiers, and teams, below the top two divisions.

Kevin de Bruyne applauds Cole Palmer after his goal against Wycombe. Image: PA Images
Kevin de Bruyne applauds Cole Palmer after his goal against Wycombe. Image: PA Images
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As well as the idea to use the Under 23 teams in the Championship or lower, Guardiola once again brought up the amount of substitutes.

At the end of the 2019/20 season, following the break for Covid, clubs were allowed to use five substitutes, as games were crammed in to catch up on the time missed.

Whilst most leagues continued it last season, the Premier League clubs voted against it, because it was felt it gave clubs with bigger squads an unfair advantage.

Once again around Europe this has been continued, and in the Champions League, but England continues to only allow three subs per game.

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Guardiola was arguing that more subs would mean better chance of development for his young players, and he might have a point.

Featured Image Credit: Mirror/PA

Topics: Football, Premier League, Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, Carabao Cup, Adebayo Akinfenwa

Ryan Sidle
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