As 1/2 of-time approached on Saturday with West Ham leading Manchester City 1-0 and playing a spell of possession, a reputedly harmless piece of action – or rather, inaction – summed up the trouble with Pep Guardiola’s aspect this season.

Ilkay Gundogan pinched the ball off Michail Antonio halfway into the City 1/2 of and started out striding ahead with purpose.

The West Ham midfield became stuck beforehand of the ball, and with Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, and Raheem Sterling all starting their runs, the counterattack appeared on.

Gungodan dribbled forward, and then stopped. He turned, waited, turned again, and – with nothing on – played a simple sideways pass to Mahrez.

In total Gundogan held the ball for 7.61 seconds and took nine touches. Nobody had made an incisive run, nobody had moved between the lines, and, as can be seen below, by the time he laid it off West Ham had seven players behind the ball:

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