I Am Going To “Kill” My Players If We Fail To Win Premier League – Guardiola

Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola has vowed his team are condemned to finish the season the way they started or he’ll ‘kill’ the players.

City continued their Premier League dominance with a 2-0 win at Leicester City on Saturday seeing them maintain their eight-point lead at the top, scoring 40 goals and conceding just seven in the process.

The Spaniard said there was no chance of his team becoming complacent despite their stunning form.

“That is not going to happen because I am their manager,” Guardiola said.

“The team, that is not going to happen. I’ll kill them. Complacency doesn’t happen in my teams.

 

“They can play bad, teams are going to beat us, that happens.

“But if you see the team, they have the desire to have the ball and play. We are not a team that speculates about absolutely anything. That’s not going to happen.”

Guardiola’s men have made a flying start to the season, dropping just two points from the first 12 games,

City have already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League but they host Feyenoord on Tuesday.

 

Pep Panic As Real Madrid In Contact With Man City Brahim Diaz

Real Madrid is ready to drop their interest in Tottenham ace Dele Alli in favour for another Premier League starlet.

Real president Florentino Perez is in the market for a new attacking midfielder and is shopping in England for a solution.

Alli has been under consideration, however, Diario Gol says Perez is now switching his focus to Manchester City whizkid Brahim Diaz.

Tied to City until 2019, Diaz’s representatives are already in talks with Real intermediaries.

The midfielder, who joined City three years ago from Malaga, enjoys a huge reputation in Spain but is yet to force his way into manager Pep Guardiola’s senior plans.

Guardiola is aware of Real’s approach and has already spoken to Diaz, urging him to be patient.

Source: Tribal Football

Man City: Stones Eager To Repay Guardiola For Faith In Him

John Stones Manchester City center-back says he is anxious to repay manager Pep Guardiola for the faith he showed in him during his difficult first season at the Etihad Stadium.

The 23-year-old, produced several error-strewn displays last season after joining City from Everton in a £47.5 million ($62.9 million, 53.6 million euros) move that made him the world’s second most expensive defender.

But Guardiola stuck by the England international and has been rewarded this season as Stones has contributed to six clean sheets in City’s last seven games, helping the club to top spot in the Premier League.

“Really good,” Stones said when asked how Guardiola had helped him last season. “Always positive and wanting me to do better and that’s what I try to repay him on the pitch.

“The games this season speak for themselves: clean sheets both in the Champions League and Premier League. I feel like I’m developing as a player and a person under him.

“That’s all down to the players around me, him and the staff that are there. All I want to do is keep this run going and see where it takes us.”

Stones produced a strong performance in City’s 1-0 win at defending champions Chelsea last Saturday and he agreed it was one of his most impressive displays in City’s colors.

“I think I’ve always been moving in the right direction. Everyone has their ups and downs,” he told journalists ahead of England’s penultimate World Cup qualifier at home to Slovenia on Thursday.

“We’ve started this season well as a team. It was an important match against Chelsea. They won the league last season.

“It was an important game to keep the run going and keep another clean sheet. Defensively, on a personal note, it was maybe one of the best games I’ve played in.”

Goal-Hungry Man City Can Still Improve, Says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says his free-scoring Manchester City side can still improve — in a chilling message to Premier League rivals — but is refusing to get carried away by their electrifying early-season form.

City hammered Watford 6-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday to complete three wins in seven days, scoring 15 goals without reply.

Hailing full-back recruits Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy for transforming City’s blueprint, Guardiola, whose side are top of the Premier League alongside Manchester United, said his team is nowhere near their peak.

“Even if it looks like we cannot improve, of course, we can improve,” said Guardiola. “There’s still movement, there are still actions we can improve.

“The full-backs are so important. They offer energy to go up and down so that means we can put more players in the middle, to play, to pass the sort passes.”

“I like it when we play short passes through the middle, five, six meters, that gives us continuity,” he added. “We create the spaces behind the press.

“To do that you need more players in one position. And Kyle (Walker) and Danilo and Mendy help us a lot to be able to do that. Without that, it would be even more complicated.”

Sergio Aguero’s sixth Premier League hat-trick on Saturday leaves the 29-year-old three goals shy of breaking City’s all-time scoring record, held by Eric Brook with 177 strikes.

But Guardiola, in comments reported by the British press on Monday, remains cautious.

Asked if he considers City now ready to go toe-to-toe with the likes of reigning champions Chelsea, Guardiola replied: “We will see. But I think we’ve made a step forward in terms of last season.

“My feeling now is that everybody knows what we have to do, the players know what they have to do, with, without the ball in transition. And that’s so important.”

“We weren’t good enough last season, Chelsea and Tottenham were better,” Guardiola added. “You have to accept it.

“You have to accept sometimes the opposition is better. Then you analyze why to improve for the future.”

 

 

 

Source: The Guardian

Man City Give Guardiola Deja Vu

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed fears that his team’s goal-scoring problems remain an issue after they drew 1-1 with Everton in their opening Premier League home game.

Wayne Rooney put Everton ahead in the 35th minute on Monday and City had Kyle Walker controversially sent off before halftime, but the hosts hit back to level through substitute Raheem Sterling’s volley eight minutes from time.

City regularly struggled to kill teams off last season, drawing seven home games in the league, and when asked if his side’s latest display had brought to mind their travails from 2016-17, Guardiola replied: “Yep.

“We created three, four chances before the goal. They play man-to-man, six, eight players there, closing (down).

“(Ashley) Williams, (Phil) Jagielka, (Michael) Keane, (Leighton) Baines, all the guys, they are very good in one-against-one.

“We tried to find the way to attack them and we did it. (When the opposition) arrive once (in the box), score a goal, that can happen.

“Our amount of opportunities on target or close to the target was good. We were there all the time. We never gave up, with the spirit of the Mancunians.”

He added: “What we can do is try and create the chances. Maybe one day we’ll change, we’ll find it.

“Last season we were the first or second team for creating clear chances. I think the first one. We just made (scored) 16 percent.

“In that level, it’s results. In our box, it was perfect. They arrived once. But OK, we will improve.”

For the second time this season, Guardiola started with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up front, but he withdrew Jesus at halftime as part of the reshuffle that followed Walker’s home-debut dismissal.

Booked for sliding in on Leighton Baines, Walker was shown a second yellow card by referee Robert Madley two minutes later following a fairly innocuous collision with Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

ROONEY A ‘TEACHER’

Guardiola refused to talk about Madley in his post-match press conference.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman also had reason to rue one of the referee’s decisions after he, too, lost a player to a harsh second booking, with Morgan Schneiderlin sent off late on after sliding in to tackle Aguero.

While Koeman acknowledged that Madley had a “difficult job”, he suggested Schneiderlin’s dismissal had been on the cards from the moment Walker trudged off.

“I was in a good position and in my opinion he (Schneiderlin) played the ball,” said Koeman, who gave a debut to record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson.

“But away against City, he’s sending off one player of City and a difficult situation, you know what the referee will do then. A yellow and his second and it’s red. You can expect it.”

Koeman said he had been “disappointed” to see Sterling equalize, but said it was a “good point” to take back to Merseyside.

Rooney’s goal, a first-time finish from Calvert-Lewin’s square pass, was his 200th in the Premier League.

The former Manchester United striker celebrated by cupping his ears in front of City’s fans, many of whom spent the entirety of the match goading him.

“He is still that player that every manager needs in his team and maybe more for Everton. He is back home,” said Koeman, who brought Rooney back to Goodison Park from United in July.

“We have young players. We had three players of 20 years on the pitch against City and they did a great job. He is that experienced player, that teacher of young players. We’d like to win titles and he knows how you win titles.

“It’s a big step up for the young players. Against Stoke I was really pleased about his performance.

“Also tonight, with that cleverness to know exactly in every moment what is the best decision. I’m very happy about him.”

 

 

Source: SuperSport

Pep Under Pressure To Be Better This Second Season

Fortified by Manchester City’s £200 million ($260 million) overhaul, Pep Guardiola is under pressure to ensure his second season in the Premier League is far more successful than his torrid first.

Guardiola had a troubled debut campaign at Eastlands as the Spaniard failing to win a trophy for the first time in his storied managerial career.

Third placed City finished 15 points behind Premier League champions Chelsea, crashed out of the Champions League against Monaco and failed to reach either of the domestic cup finals.

Guardiola has admitted such a lacklustre performance would have seen him sacked at his previous clubs Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

However, City, who start their Premier League campaign at promoted Brighton on Saturday, always intended to give Guardiola time to reload and a pre-season spree has put him in a position to get it right this time.

That building work has involved spending big on five major signings.

Close to £130 million was invested in full-backs as Guardiola shored up his defence with Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy from Monaco and Real Madrid’s Danilo.

All three have the pace to change defence into attack quickly, something City lacked in the full-back positions last season.

Guardiola will hope goalkeeper Ederson, acquired from Benfica for £34.9 million, is less error prone than Claudio Bravo, whose dismal season was a major factor in City’s failed title challenge.

City looks stronger in attack too, with Bernardo Silva, bought from Monaco for £43 million, bringing extra creativity to the final third.

With January signing Gabriel Jesus over the injury trouble that stalled a promising start in England, City look well placed to compete for all the major trophies.

Mendy is likely to be absent on Saturday with a thigh injury, while Silva may start on the bench, having had only a short pre-season after helping Portugal to the Confederations Cup semi-finals.

Guardiola could start with Jesus and Sergio Aguero up front, given he has used a 3-5-2 set-up for much of pre-season, which suggests Walker and Danilo are to be deployed as wing-backs.

The formation allows an extra man in midfield, which has proved to City’s advantage in warm-up victories over Tottenham, Real Madrid and West Ham.

“We feel ready because we’ve been at a good level but we have nothing to show for it at the moment,” said City captain Vincent Kompany.

“Keep doing what we’ve done in the last three games and it should be exciting.”

Immediately after Brighton secured promotion to the top-flight for the first time in 34 years, their chairman Tony Bloom warned he would not break the bank in a bid to avoid relegation.

But Albion shattered their transfer record earlier this week on PSV Eindhoven midfielder Davey Propper and was set to pass that mark with the £13 million acquisition of Colombia winger Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge ahead of City’s visit.

Those deals were small change compared to City’s spending of course and Chris Hughton’s signings have been offset by a broken leg for Beram Kayal that will keep the midfielder sidelined for around three months.

“The work starts from the day you get a promotion. It’s normal that the players and supporters are going to be celebrating for a period of time, but we have had to come down to reality,” Brighton boss Hughton said.

“This division is far tougher and we’ll certainly need all of the experienced heads around us.”

Guardiola Returns To Man City Drawing Board

Rattled by a chastening first season in England, Pep Guardiola has gone back to the drawing board in an attempt to fashion Manchester City into Premier League champions.

Expectations were sky-high when Guardiola alighted in Manchester after years of being courted by City, but a title challenge failed to materialise and his side did not make a mark in any of the cup competitions.

They return to the fray this weekend having spent around £200 million ($261 million, 221.3 million euros) on players and Guardiola believes an exciting new team is taking shape.

“With all respect to the players, last season we were one of the oldest teams in the Premier League. We didn’t buy full-backs for five, six years,” said Guardiola.

“We decided last season we could change the team to make the team younger for the next four or five years.

“Danilo is 26, (Benjamin) Mendy is 23, Bernardo (Silva) is 22, Ederson is 23, so we bought players who are going to be stable for the next years.”

There were some promising signs last season — an opening salvo of 10 straight wins, a stunning Champions League victory over Barcelona — but City never found any consistent form.

Guardiola seemed unprepared for the rude physicality of English football and was derided for saying he was “not a coach for the tackles” after a one-sided 4-2 defeat at Leicester City.

City’s football was, occasionally, dazzling and they were only outscored by champions Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, but finding an effective defensive configuration gave Guardiola a constant headache.

John Stones looked shaky following his big-money move from Everton and Guardiola’s dissatisfaction with his full-back options saw midfielders Fernandinho and Jesus Navas deployed in the wide defensive positions.

There should not be any shoehorning of players into unfamiliar roles this season after Guardiola signed three top-level full-backs — Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo — at a combined cost of around £124 million.

Aguero-Jesus conundrum 
Guardiola hopes to have put his goalkeeping problems to bed as well, having reacted to Claudio Bravo’s travails by bringing in Brazil goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica in a £35 million deal.

Bernardo Silva, meanwhile, arrived from Monaco, further strengthening a stellar attacking department that also contains Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

“Manchester City have the best team on paper,” ex-England midfielder Owen Hargreaves told the Premier League official website.

“It took a bit of an adjustment for Pep Guardiola, but City are my favourites.”

Back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero, full-backs Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy and wingers Jesus Navas and Nolito have all left, while the unwanted Joe Hart has gone out on loan again to West Ham United.

Guardiola has tested out a three-man defence in pre-season, with Stones lining up alongside Nicolas Otamendi and captain Vincent Kompany, whose ability to remain fit will once again be under scrutiny.

Playing three at the back may enable Guardiola to associate Aguero and Jesus in attack, after he generally used a single-striker system last season following Jesus’s arrival in January.

Even more so than his old foe Jose Mourinho across town at Manchester United, if Guardiola cannot at the very least orchestrate a sustained title challenge, his gilded reputation will take a sizeable hit.

Last season was the first time in his managerial career that he finished a campaign without having added at least one trophy to his collection.

Another season without silverware will raise serious doubts as to whether he really is the man to carry City to the summit of European football for the first time.

Source: The Guardian

Manchester United Coach Still Out Looking To Spend 200million Euro

Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City are “still looking” to add to their £200 million summer spending spree, although he refused to comment on the possibility of hijacking Real Madrid’s move for Kylian Mbappe.

City has been the major shoppers in the transfer market after splashing out a Premier League record total of £200m to bring Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Ederson, Danilo and Douglas Luiz to the Etihad.

But it remains likely that they will continue their haul after being strongly linked with moves for Arsenal frontman Alexis Sanchez and Monaco teenage striker Mbappe.

Mbappe has been on City’s radar throughout the summer, although there have been strong suggestions in Spain that Real have agreed to a fee of £160 million for the 18-year-old.

Ahead of Wednesday’s International Champions Cup encounter against Real Madrid, in Los Angeles, Guardiola wasn’t being drawn on either.

“They are Monaco and Arsenal players, so nothing to say,” he said.

But he did confirm that City were still looking at options in the market, albeit he was coy on whether another striker was on the agenda.

“We have the two exceptional forwards in Gabriel (Jesus) and Sergio (Aguero),” he said. “We will see.

“The market finishes on August 31, which is not good for the managers.

“The competition (Premier League) starts on the 12th (of August) and the market is still open. That is not good for all the clubs.

“We will see until the end of the transfer window.”

Mendy became City’s latest signing earlier this week when the left-back arrived from Monaco in a £52 million deal.

The 23-year-old is still around a fortnight from featuring in a City shirt due to injury, but Guardiola is delighted to have brought in a defender who made such an impression during Monaco’s Champions League campaign last season.

“He can attack inside and outside,” Guardiola said. “He’s a young player so sometimes you have to pay a bit more for them.

“But we have one guy for the next five or six years.”

Bringing in younger players at the back was clearly on Guardiola’s mind this summer after jettisoning the 30-something quartet of Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov to bring in fellow full-backs Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker.

City spent £130 million on that trio alone, yet Guardiola believes they will offer long-term value for money.

“Manchester City didn’t invest in their full-backs for six or seven years and all four were 30-31 years old,” he said.

“We decided to make the squad younger and we tried to get the best full-backs possible.

“Dani Alves was free but decided to go to Paris. Kyle, Mendy and Danilo were the best options we had.”

 

Pep Guardiola, Responsible For Manchester City’s Elimination

Pep Guardfiola blames himself for the failure of Manchester City to keep up with the Champions Leagues competition. “He says he didn’t convince then enough to win the match against monaco”.

“I tried to convince them in all the meetings we had to come here, try to attack and score,” said Guardiola.

“My mistake was being not able to convince them to do that.”

The Spaniard added: “I did [convince them] in the second half but it was too late.

“All managers make mistakes but I don’t think it was down to a tactical mistake.

“It’s simple. The difference was between the first and the second half. In the second half we tried to win the game, we tried to play. I did it all my career in that way. But the problem was the first half. We weren’t there.”

City were overrun and sloppy at the back as they conceded twice in the first half.

They were much improved in the second 45 minutes and looked to have saved themselves through Leroy Sane’s 71st-minute strike, but further defensive frailties were exposed as Tiemoue Bakayoko headed in a decisive third for the home side.

Guardiola continued: “It’s not about the defence. Today was not about that. Why was the second half a problem with the defence?

“Our strikers have to be aggressive and pick the ball up, but we didn’t at this crucial time. That’s why we are out.”

This is the first time that a side managed by Guardiola have exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage.

But he was adamant his players would learn from the experience and come back stronger next season.

“I came here to win the Champions League. I tried, I tried – and I will try again,” he said. “Playing like we have done this season, like in the second half, would have been enough.

“The competition is so demanding. Hopefully we are going to learn so that, next season, we can come back here and make the same performance we did at the Etihad for the whole 90 minutes.”

 

Guardiola Praises Bayern Players In Final Home Presser, Says He’s A Better Coach

Pep Guardiola has said he will miss “nearly all” of his players when he parts ways with Bayern Munich this summer.

On May 21, Guardiola will coach Bayern Munich for the last time when they take on Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

On Saturday, the Catalan will say goodbye to the Allianz Arena after the Bundesliga match against relegated Hannover which will be followed by the club’s title celebrations.

During his last prematch news conference at the club’s training facilities, the future Manchester City coach looked back on “three great years” at Bayern and said that the set of players he worked with in Munich have changed him.

“I will miss the players most of all,” he said. “I have learnt a lot from players. I will miss nearly all of them.”

Guardiola joined Bayern in 2013, and won three consecutive Bundesliga titles but also failed to reach or win the Champions League final during his time in Germany.

However, despite missing out on the side’s biggest goal, he said he will look back on his time at Bayern “as a great experience.”

He said: “I am proud to have made the decision to come here. I am now a better coach, and a better person.”

Some of the public discussion in recent weeks has focused on the question whether Guardiola changed the style and the perception of football in Germany, but he dismissed it and again thanked his players.

“I have not changed the German style of football. I have maybe changed a few players. I have learnt a lot from them,” he said, highlighting Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer.

“As long as title race was not decided, we have only lost four matches in three years. That’s outstanding.”

“They [the players] have a great mentality. Hopefully my new club can learn from it.”

Offering a brief outlook on his City future, he said: “I came here to learn, and I go to England to learn.”

Guardiola ended his news conference again praising those on the pitch, added: “The best thing in football is the players.”

Bayern Clinch Fourth Straight Bundesliga Title

Bayern Munich were confirmed as champions of Germany, after they defeated Ingolstadt 2-1 at the Audi Sportpark on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s men were dumped out of the Champions League in midweek by Atletico Madrid, but they put their European exit behind them to secure their 27th league win of the season.

Bayern needed just a point in the game, after Borussia Dortmund lost 1-0 to Frankfurt.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice for the Bavarians, before Moritz Hartmann pulled one back from the penalty spot.

Ingolstadt ultimately failed to equalize, making Bayern to clinch their fourth successive league title.