Former Manchester City player-manager Peter Reid believes Pep Guardiola made a mistake by replacing Joe Hart with Claudio Bravo, and says his former club still needs to sign a new goalkeeper.
Guardiola quickly made it clear that Hart was not suited to the style of football he is trying to implement at the Etihad Stadium, and brought in Bravo from Barcelona before sending the England No.1 out on loan to Torino.
Bravo has had a couple of shaky moments during his time at City so far - most notably in his debut in the Manchester derby and with his red card at Camp Nou - but his generally calm use of the ball has contributed to the build-up play that Guardiola demands.
But Reid agrees with the many City fans who believe Hart is a better goalkeeper and should still be No.1, and he also insists the Englishman is actually better on the ball than Bravo in any case.
“It’s been well documented that he wants Bravo to come out and play from the back, but I think Joe Hart is a better goalkeeper than Bravo, and has got better feet,” Reid told Goal. “It’s just a matter of what football’s like, it’s about opinions. I don’t agree with Pep on this one but he’s got a great record, so time will tell if he’ll be right on the goalkeeping one, but certainly I think it’s a mistake.”
And he added: “Let’s put it this way, if you look at teams who win big trophies, and you look at the goalkeeper, you look at [Manuel] Neuer, you look at [Peter] Schmeichel, [Edwin] Van der Sar, you look at [Petr] Cech, I don’t see that at Manchester City.
“I think you’ve got to have a top-class keeper and for me he’s a very good keeper, but he’s not a top one.”
Reid does believe City is heading the right way under Guardiola, and has been impressed with the attacking play, but has yet to be convinced by the Blues’ defending, and says they still need several new signings - including a replacement for Bravo.
“He likes to press and get the ball back early and he likes to go and play. I’m still not convinced about them defensively at this moment in time but certainly the attacking brand of play is really exciting. But I think they need three or four signings to be honest.
“If he doesn’t fancy Hart I think he’s got to get a better goalkeeper, I think [John] Stones has got all the attributes but I think he needs another center half in there. I still think he needs another striker to go with Aguero, and I still think he needs another attacking midfield player who can go past people, to go with [David] Silva and [Kevin] De Bruyne.”
But Reid, who was player-manager at City between 1990 and 1993, is in agreement with Guardiola over the handling of Yaya Toure.
Although Guardiola could not force Toure out of the club, he has made it clear that the midfielder does not feature in his plans, and has also hit out at his agent, Dimitri Seluk.
Reid says it is good to see somebody fight back against Seluk, who, among various other incidents, criticized the club back in 2014 for not presenting Toure with a birthday cake.
“I think obviously he doesn’t fancy him enough as a player to get him involved, and from the outside looking in there have been problems with the player and the player’s agent, and I think it’s refreshing from that point of view, that a manager stands up and manages the club the way he wants, and it’s not the tail wagging the dog.
“We had the birthday cake scenario and all that and it’s laughable. The manager’s come in, he’s stamped his personality, and whatever you say about him - like I disagree about Joe Hart - he goes in, he makes decisions and he does it his way, so fair dos to him.”