Monday 26 September 2016

Pep Guardiola's reaction to Sergio Aguero's hat-trick highlights why Man City are the team to beat

Published 15/09/2016 | 14:25

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City is congratulated by Josep Guardiola during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City FC and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on September 14, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City is congratulated by Josep Guardiola during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City FC and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on September 14, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola is truly a perfectionist.

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The famously exacting coach has already increased standards at Manchester City, ruthlessly culling some of the squad's bigger egos as he places a paramount on work ethic and ball retention.

Read more: Roy Keane was blunt when picking a side in the Pep Guardiola v Jose Mourinho debate

Many players - mostly attackers - have flourished since he took over, with Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne tearing opposition defences to pieces during City's 100% start to the Guardiola era.

Even Sergio Aguero, a player who looked like he was at his peak already, has shown an improvement - disciplinary issues aside.

The Argentine has netted nine times in five games this season, including a second European hat-trick this term in City's Champions League group stage opener at home to Borussia Monchengladach last night.

However, despite putting his name on the score-sheet three times, the devastating attacker was still lectured by Guardiola after the game on the finer points of defending - as well as being told to have even more confidence in front of goal, rather than laying the ball off to his team-mates.

“The first half perhaps I wasn’t so happy, I lost a lot of balls but the second half was a bit better," Aguero said in quotes reported by the Independent.

"Pep demands the same of everyone and he does the same to me, I have to help to mark, to help on the offensive side and with everything – defend and attack.

“According to my style of playing, he is one of the managers that have helped me most in my career. I’ve improved in my game near the box and scoring goals, with Pep I will get even more chances.”

Guardiola further explained his comments to Aguero as he addressed the media after last night's comprehensive victory.

"I wanted to convince Sergio that his talent in the box is natural,” Guardiola said.

“I cannot teach him that but he has to know that behind the rest of the team wants to help him and that is what I want to convince him.”

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