Kevin De Bruyne analyses Man City tactics after revealing coaching plans

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League

Kevin De Bruyne showed why he is widely considered to be the best midfielder in the world during Manchester City’s 3-0 win against Arsenal last Sunday.

The Belgian produced a masterclass that included two fine goals and an assist in the first half.

“He's a genius,” Bacary Sagna said on Sky Sports on Sunday.

“No matter where he has the ball, or the choice he has to make, he always plays the right ball.”

‘Genius’ is certainly one adjective that can be used to describe De Bruyne. His footballing intelligence is off the charts.

And it’s why it should come as no surprise to hear that the 28-year-old is starting to take his first steps into a coaching career.

De Bruyne revealed after the Arsenal win that he will soon be starting his coaching badges.

He received an offer from the Belgian FA in November to combine the UEFA A and B licenses into one course.

That would leave him only needing to compete the UEFA Pro Licence to be able to sit on the bench as a coach at a top European club.

“That’s something I’m going to do, because obviously it gives us a licence in a quicker period, in less time, than we could do it before,” De Bruyne said on Sunday, per The Athletic.

“It’s something I am going to do, not thinking that I want to be a coach or anything, but if I want to be in football, it’s necessary to have this already, as a minimum.

“If I find the time once in a while, I am going to do this. It can help me for later, but it’s not something I am thinking about - I’m a little bit young.”

Manchester City v Watford - FA Cup Final

De Bruyne then offered an insight into Man City’s tactics and the way he broke it down suggests he would make a fine coach.

When it was put to the Belgium international that Ilkay Gundogan played further back than Pep Guardiola usually asks his No.8s to play, De Bruyne provided an in-depth assessment of City’s system.

“Yeah but it depends, if Gundo goes a little bit deeper then (Benjamin) Mendy goes more wide and then Raz (Raheem Sterling) or Phil (Foden) comes a little bit more in, so it’s a little bit similar, you just turn it around,” he replied.

“For some people who look from the outside it can look different but for us it’s almost the same, it’s just the way he wants to turn it around I guess.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

“(Phil) started on the left, and that’s why Gundo was coming from the No 8 position more, as a central midfielder, as a three-two, and then Mendy would go up and Phil would play as No 10, so defensively he would play as a winger.

“We have these roles all the time and every game is different - I know the set-up can seem different - it changes all the time, but that was the role.

“It was the same with Raheem - when he was on the left he would go inside just to create a man more in the midfield.”

That’s a player who understands just what his manager is asking of him and his teammates.


Guardiola’s assistant Mikel Arteta expanded upon De Bruyne’s increased understanding of the game in the book Pep’s City.

“Pep’s given him (De Bruyne) a new way of viewing things, a new way of controlling a match,” Arteta said.

“Now he understands the pitch, his team, the demanding, associative football which links parts of the team with passes and movement.”

It remains to be seen whether De Bruyne will take on the challenge of coaching once he hangs up his boots.

But if he does, expect him to bring some innovative ideas to the game.

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