Friday 6 January 2017 12:31, UK
Paul Merson believes the pressure is getting to Pep Guardiola and thinks Manchester City are in danger of missing out on the top four this season.
Guardiola has been in the spotlight this week after his blunt responses to questions following City's 2-1 win over Burnley last weekend.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was reluctant to analyse the contest or the red card shown to Fernandinho when speaking to Sky Sports' Rob Palmer.
And although the win was City's fourth in their last five Premier League matches, Sky Sports pundit Merson thinks Guardiola is feeling the pressure of a tight title race.
"The pressure is getting to him," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "He has managed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich where they were head and shoulders above the other teams in the league.
"Now he has come into a league where you have to work for every game. It's not 5-0 or 6-0 and sitting down and watching [Lionel] Messi get the ball and beat five players and score or [Robert] Lewandowski score every time the ball goes into the box. It's hard for him and the pressure is telling.
"We saw that last week in his interview with Rob at the end of the game. It wasn't clever.
"They are short and if you look at all the teams they are the ones in major danger of missing out on the top four, which would be a disaster."
Ahead of their FA Cup trip to West Ham on Friday evening, City are fourth in the Premier League, a point ahead of Arsenal and three in front of Manchester United.
Merson expects a "fascinating" second half of the season as they battle it out with the rest of the top six.
"Everybody is winning. Draws are no good, you have to go out and keep winning and that's why it is so great to watch the Premier League this season," he said.
"From now until the end of February the top six are playing each other every week so they are going to take points off each other. It's so open."