Sunday 25 August 2019

I must carry the can for City's poor form, admits Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is in the spotlight because of Manchester City's poor form
Pep Guardiola is in the spotlight because of Manchester City's poor form

Pep Guardiola claims not even he is immune to the sack as he grapples with poor form for the first time in his managerial career.

After Manchester City admitted they began their pursuit of Guardiola in 2012 when they appointed him earlier this year, the expensively-acquired Catalan is likely to be given plenty of time in his current role at the Etihad Stadium.

But after winning just four of his last 15 games, the man who knew nothing but success in glittering spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich is finding himself and his methods under scrutiny.

Guardiola said: "Our job is not easy. For all the managers around the world this kind of situation happens.

"It's the first time in my life that I don't win regularly. In the big companies and the big businesses in the world, if something doesn't work you have to find a solution, and normally the guy who has to go is the guy who has to help the players reach the best level.

"The last month I have to accept the results have not gone well. Long-term projects do not exist in football. You have to win immediately and if you don't win, you are in trouble. Then another guy has to be in charge because you have to win. The boss and the chairman are going to decide."

After winning 21 trophies with Barca and Bayern, Guardiola arrived at City generally regarded as the best coach in the world.

His reputation should safeguard him as he tries to remodel the side both in terms of personnel and playing style, and for now he feels he has the full backing of the club. He is convinced that if they are patient with him he will reward them.

He said: "I feel like they trust me but the reality is that you have to win. Anything can happen. Our position depends on the results but I don't leave.

"When I arrived here, the same as Barcelona, I stay all my contract. I have never been sacked.

"We won a lot. Next season will be better, two years will be better."

City's 4-2 loss at Leicester on Saturday brought considerable criticism, particularly concerning the side's defending.

Guardiola has made clear that, in his philosophy, defence is not important if the rest of the side is functioning well. Sustained possession would make it largely redundant. Yet that was not the case at the King Power Stadium and critics have suggested City should spend more time working on defensive shape and other fundamentals, such as tackling.

Guardiola is determined to defy them and stick to his guns.

He said: "When I started in Barcelona we didn't win at first, and the people who criticised me... you can't imagine what they said.

"In Bayern Munich when I didn't win the Champions League, when they expected to win it, the people (criticised).

"So when I arrived here I didn't expect the English media to be sweet with me when I didn't win.

"With the results of the last month and a half I expect that. But I have enough energy to fight. We are going to play the way I feel. I cannot do something I don't feel."

PA Media

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