There’s lots of things we can blame Pep Guardiola for.
For instance, he’s somehow made it ‘cool’ to wear chinos and trainers to work, while simultaneously making Manchester City the most likeable team in the world.
That man’s got some talent.
But according to Juventus hard-man Giorgio Chiellini, Guardiola is to blame for ruining a generation of Italian defenders.
Speaking ahead of Italy’s World Cup playoff tie against Sweden on Friday, Chiellini said Guardiola’s influence on the game in recent years has led defenders to value distribution over marking.
Chiellini said: “‘Guardiolismo’ has ruined many Italian defenders a bit.
Now defenders know how to set the tone of play and they can spread the ball, but they don’t know how to mark.
“Unfortunately, that’s the way it is.”
Guardiola spent just two seasons in Italy with Serie A sides Brescia and Roma, but has (so far) never managed in the country.
However, it seems Chiellini believes the manager’s work at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Man City has changed the way young defenders learn the game.
He added: “When I was young, we used to do drills to get a feel for the man you were marking.
“Nowadays, from crosses, Italian defenders – and I can only really talk for Italian defenders, I am only relatively interested about foreign players – don’t mark their man.
“It’s a great pity because we’re losing our DNA a bit and some of those characteristics which had made us excel in the world.”
Reckon he’s making a subtle dig at Leonardo Bonucci, guys?