Guardiola gives the awaiting press a “Pep” talk at first media conference

Guardiola gives the awaiting press a “Pep” talk at first media conference

Pep Guardiola aims to be an instant success in England

  • Pep Guardiola says he is in Manchester to prove himself as a manager 
  • Former Barcelona manager wants to impose his “tiki-taka” style in Manchester
  • Spaniard sets out his aims to bring young players into the first team

Manchester City becoming the louder neighbors according to our Manchester football correspondent Jack Gaughan has the talk of Guardiola revamping City’s starpower begins again.

The new fault lines have been drawn in Manchester. On the red side, it’s Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. On the blue side of the divide, it’s Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. We heard from Mourinho the other day, but Guardiola really just wants to get down to work on the training ground. 

Guardiola was officially unveiled as City’s new manager at a fan event on Sunday but this is the first time he was fielding questions from the British press and we tried our all to capture every moment.

Getting down to business

Pep Guardiola and his staff are wasting no time in getting the Manchester City squad firing ahead of the new season.

The Spaniard spoke of the importance of building a special team spirit and enforcing an attractive style of play when he was unveiled as manager to the club’s fans last Sunday.

The 45-year-old oversaw a session with the club’s players that are not involved with international fixtures on Wednesday and will already be building up to the club’s upcoming friendly matches.

Recapping the press conference

Some interesting points there as he talks about the ‘big expectations’ he has for City and how he’ll have to adapt his style of play according to his players and the demands of the Premier League.

He was pretty diplomatic on Jose Mourinho, saying he has been one of the coaches that has elevated him to a higher level over the years.

Pep says he is looking forward to challenging himself in some of the unique aspects of the English game, such as playing on Boxing Day and in the freezing cold.

Pep on Mourinho

I don’t see it as a question. We’re both here, Jose and I. He wants to win, I want to win. We know each other pretty well.

Competing against managers like that take you to the next level, they push you to achieve things.

On fan expectations

It depends what happens. Hopefully we will play well, win games and people will be happy with us.

It’s difficult to know what they have. Of course I have big expectations.

Pep on Arteta and Kidd

It’s very important [to have him here]. He’s got 12, 13 years in Scotland and here. He knows what Boxing Day is like.

Kidd is helping me get to know the players. Arteta is one of the best midfielders there’s been and he knows English football.

Is this your biggest challenge?

It could be the biggest challenge because City have not won as many titles at Barca or Bayern. I don’t know.

You have got to adapt to the country you are in. I did that in Germany and I will do it here.

Guardiola on Mourinho

It’s not about him or me. It’s doesn’t matter about the team, it’s so difficult to win here. We played many times against each other and the big coaches like Jose, they helped me reach another level as a coach.

Hart and Sterling displays for England at Euro 2016

What happened with Sterling – the money they paid for him was always in the mind of the people. But I am looking forward to helping him so he can show us what a good player he is.

In Barcelona, it was the basis of the Spanish players. In Bayern, it was the basis of the German team. Here, the English players are so expensive. But I will try to help them.

Most successful coaches are in England – why?

The best players can come here. The fans go to the stadium to see the players. I don’t know the reason why the other coaches came here. I came as a football player 2-3 times to see the atmosphere and as a coach at Barcelona and Bayern, I came here and said ‘wow.’ I never lived the Boxing Day, for example, I never came in the freezing conditions, when it is windy. The personal ambition is to prove myself here.

Style of football

When I arrived at Bayern Munich, I had an idea to move on from what I knew from the age of 13 years old. I learned that at the end, I have to adapt to the quality of my players. The quality was totally different to the ones I had at Barcelona.

I am pretty sure it will be completely different in England to in Germany. That is why I am here. I need to adapt my ideas to the quality of the players. You have to find each other as soon as possible.

Guardiola on Kompany

My dream for Vincent Kompany is to be fit. In the last two years, he has played few games. He is the captain with a lot of experience he is a magnificent central defender. But he has to be fit.

Any other offers to come to England?

Seriously it was just one. I will be grateful to this club for the opportunity to come to this club, this country. Manchester City gave me this opportunity, this challenge and I will do my best to achieve.

Responsibilities here?

My responsibility here to the players is in my hands – to do everything for them.

What are the objectives as set by Sheikh Mansour?

We met three times. There was no we have to win Premier League, Champions League. He said make your job as you are. I feel the club is behind us to give us what we need.

Feeling before the press conferences

Always nervous, I am afraid of all of you! We will try to do our best and I know when it is not going well, you are not going to help. It is better to have some distance. You make your job free and I will make my job free.

How important are young academy players?

A lot. In Barcelona, I worked a lot with the second team. When I came to the first team, I knew all the players in the second team, the third team, the fourth team.

I know that Chelsea and Man City are the best clubs, they fight to win the titles in the academies. I have realised in the last week, working with 9-19 players from the academy, I am really impressed.

Will tiki-taka be possible in England?

That is why I am him, to prove that I am able to do that. I was in Barcelona, when I had absolutely everything and the best player ever and most of the teams grew up in the academy, so I knew them.

This is another test for my career, it is the right moment to come here. I want to play the way I want.

Is this your hardest task?

I don’t know really. Maybe when I took over the second team from Barcelona, it was the hardest. You have to win every day, every day. Like at Bayern Munich.

In England it is difficult to find a team that wins five games in a row. That is the challenge and we are going to try and win more points. I think my career with people who are demanding with my teams.

We are going to train to win as many matches as possible. It is better to be with that pressure. You have to understand our body language – maybe we will not be able to win every day, but we are going to try.

Guardiola on Manchester

It is amazing. When we are not going to play good, if we play bad, it is not the facilities that are the reason why.

Guardiola on transfer targets

This is not the right place to explain about the new players out of respect to the players and the other clubs. You will discover in time what is our target and what we want for the next season.

We will try and move the squad a bit.

Guardiola advises media and other league contenders to “Fasten their seatbelts”

Fasten your seatbelts for the other side of the car. I just arrived 10 days ago, we are still getting to know each other but we are trying to do our best for our people and especially for our players to be happy with what we do and for our fans to be proud. If our fans are proud and about what we do and what they see, they the fans are so intelligent. They see our players and now immediately if they are committed.


City’s matches moved for TV coverage

We now know which of City’s Premier League fixtures in the opening couple of months of the season have been moved for live coverage on television.

Their visit to Stoke City on the second weekend of the season has been moved to a 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday August 20 and will be screened live on Sky Sports.

City’s home match with West Ham will be the 4pm Sky Super Sunday kick-off on August 28.

Their derby with United at Old Trafford has been moved to the 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday September 10 and will again by shown on Sky.



Premier League’s Battle of the Bosses
  • Never before has the English top-flight played host to the top tactical minds in the world and it’s set to be extraordinary, and entertaining, viewing for fans across the globe.
  • Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will renew their rivalry as the managers of the Manchester clubs while Antonio Conte’s arrival at Chelsea has set pulses racing.
  • These three high-profile managerial arrivals, combined with the impressive talent pool of top-flight bosses already in England, makes the battle of the bosses extremely exciting this season.
  • Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal boss, enters the final year of his current contract wanting to secure a league title while Jurgen Klopp will take charge of his first full season as Liverpool manager.
  • And there’s no forgetting Premier League-winning boss Claudio Ranieri or Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino either – with the pair enjoying spectacular seasons last term.

City’s pre-season schedule

Wednesday July 20 – Bayern Munich v Man City – Allianz Arena – 7.30pm kick-off (UK time)

Monday July 25 – Man City v Man United – Birds Nest, Beijing – 1pm kick-off (UK time)

Thursday July 28 – Borussia Dortmund v Man City – Longgang Stadium, Shenzhen – 1pm kick-off (UK time)

Sunday August 7 – Arsenal v Man City – Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg – 6pm kick-off (UK time)






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