Pep Guardiola has, in the nicest way possible, described rivals Manchester United as a long ball team during an interview with the BBC’s Gary Lineker.
The Manchester City boss had some interesting things to say on a variety of topics, perhaps the most eye-catching being his description of Jose Mourinho’s side, who sit level on points with City at the peak of the Premier League. Pep suggested that Jose has the players to give Reds a better brand of football.
“United play long ball, second ball up to Fellaini, Pogba, when they have the quality to play.
“But I have a lot of respect for my neighbours.”
While taking a bit of a dig at United, the Catalan boss also admitted he is under pressure to deliver at City. The improvements so far this season are clear for everyone to see, with players more adjusted to his system, but trophies must follow the beautiful football on display.
“We will be judged on how many titles we win — if not we will be a failure, we know that.
“I am happy to be here but it depends on the success we will have.
“With big clubs like Manchester City, if you cannot win then you cannot stay.”
An issue with managing any top side with excellent players fighting for spots is keeping everyone happy, something the City boss is all too aware of.
“I understand completely when they are unhappy being absent, completely,” he told Lineker. “My door is open 24 hours, but when they ask why they are not playing I say ‘I don’t know, I have just picked the other one, because also he deserves to play’.”
One of the biggest differences between this season and last is obvious – City are taking more of their chances. The Blues dominated many games last season but wastefulness was costly and meant they fell short of challenging for the title. Already this season, City players have scored 21 goals and will hope to continue that at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“Last season was so exciting, it was easy to win, and after look what happened.
“We have the feeling now that we are going to score a goal. That is our feeling right now. Last season we didn’t have that.
“We created a lot but we didn’t score the goals.”