Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hopes for more “masterpieces” from Claudio Bravo and has once more stressed a goalkeeper’s passing ability is key to his footballing philosophy.
Guardiola allowed Joe Hart to leave the club during the close-season, bringing in Bravo instead as he felt the former Barcelona goalkeeper’s characteristics are better suited to the sort of football he aims to play with City.
Bravo has received his fair share of criticism following a number of underwhelming performances, but Guardiola was impressed with his display in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield.
“The most important thing for keepers is to save the balls with their hands, but the way I believe to play football – from when I grew up as a little boy and my conscious awareness like a human being as a trainer – what I want to do is so important [to me],” Guardiola told the club’s official website.
“To take decisions like Claudio Bravo did in the last game was a masterpiece. How he took decisions, short and right, left and along and behind because we knew Huddersfield would be high pressing and press Aleix Garcia.
“For example they would press to Kevin De Bruyne to come, to Fernandinho to come, [so] the space was in behind them. How he put the ball there – it wasn’t a long ball, it was a pass.
“How he took the decisions was right all the time, it was really perfect, definitely what I want from Claudio and of course Willy [Caballero].
“Maybe it’s my opinion but when you have strikers two metres tall you can play long balls but our strikers are not strong enough in the long balls. We have [Sergio] Aguero, Kelechi [Iheanacho], Gabriel [Jesus], [Raheem] Sterling, [Jesus] Navas and Nolito, even Leroy [Sane] is not strong. If we play 100 long balls we are going to lose maybe 95 and when this happens the ball comes back more quickly and with more players to attack you.”