Thursday, September 21, 2017

Iniesta backs Guardiola for City success

SoccerNews in La Liga 6 Sep 2016

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Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has no doubt about Pep Guardiola’s ability to adapt to the challenges at Manchester City and in the Premier League.

Guardiola’s City have made a flying start to the season, sitting top of the table after three wins from as many matches.

Iniesta, who starred under Guardiola at Barca in 2008-12, backed his former coach and Spain team-mates in the City squad, including the “exceptional” David Silva.

“Pep knows how to adapt and I’m sure he’ll do so in England,” Iniesta said, via The Guardian.

“He’s also got staff like Mikel Arteta who’ll help that process, who know the league.

“City have signed well and have a very competitive squad. I know Nolito well because he was a team-mate here at Barcelona and with Spain. He’s had a great start and hopefully can continue.

“I’ve admired David Silva for years: I think he’s exceptional.

“Players learn day to day, from experience, team-mates and managers. I learnt a lot with Pep; he helped me to improve and he’ll do the same at City.”

Iniesta recalled the difficult start Guardiola had to life at Barca – who failed to win their opening two LaLiga games of his first season in charge in 2008-09.

The 32-year-old, winner of eight league titles, four Champions Leagues, two European Championships and a World Cup, said he knew things would change.

“Things hadn’t started well but I believed in [Guardiola],” Iniesta said.

“I felt a connection. When things come from inside, you know they’re real. I felt that way, like I had to tell him, support him.

“We came back from Euro 2008 and went to St Andrews and you could already see that this was different: the training, the communication, how the manager was.

“Until then there hadn’t been such a defined style and I identified with it. It changed everything and we needed that.”

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