Thursday 27 April 2017

'Will I be a success? I don’t know': Pep Guardiola gives his most honest interview yet

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Josep Guardiola manager / head coach of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Watford at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Josep Guardiola manager / head coach of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Watford at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted he is ‘not special’ and conceded his football philosophy may not be successful in England’s Premier League.

In a remarkably frank interview with his former Barcelona player Thierry Henry that will be screened by Sky Sports ahead of City’s game with Arsenal on Sunday, Guardiola insists he would not change his principles of passing and possession football, even if it fails to produce results.

He also confessed that his City players may not yet understand the philosophy he is trying to implement at City, as he accepted this is the biggest challenge of his hitherto trophy-laden management career.

“I try to play in one way all my career and here, with high pressing, but it is different in England,” he stated. “Many times the ball is more in the air than the grass and I have to adapt.

“It doesn’t mean my footballing ideas are special, different, better than the others. I am not saying it’s my football, my ideas, and the other coaches are nothing. It’s the way I believe. I’m not special.

“At Barcelona I had the best players ever and they helped me to be a successful manager. I adapted in Germany (with Bayern Munich) and now here I have to adapt again.

“What I am living through now is what all of the managers in the world are living. I am not top of the league right now, but I am focused more on understanding the league.

“And I am focused on all my players, what they can do, and how we can play with all that quality. It is a challenge, but it’s a normal situation for all the managers around the world, and I know at this club you have to build something.

“This unpredictable game here in England makes it so fascinating for the fans, because you never know what will happen. It’s always there’s a last chance for one team, which makes it so beautiful, but to try to control it is a bit more difficult and we will need more time.

“The people say I have to change? Well the people have to tell me what I should do to change. I cannot change. This is what I believe in and it can be successful.”

Guardiola went on to take the blame for City’s defensive failing in recent weeks, as they have slipped to heavy defeats against Chelsea and Leicester, while he also showed his vulnerability in these comments.

“Will I be a success? I don’t know,” he added. “After six months we have made some good things, some not so good things.

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport