If Pep Guardiola attacks the job at Manchester City anything like he did at Barcelona, he will be locking himself away in his office in hours in pursuit of perfection.
That is according to Xavi – one of Guardiola’s most trusted midfielders during a trophy-laden three years as Barcelona coach.
Now, after enjoying success in Germany with Bayern Munich, Guardiola will look to establish City as a true Premier League powerhouse in England and a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League.
And Xavi has guaranteed City fans that Guardiola will leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of success.
“You really learn with Pep. He explains things very well: not just what you’re doing but why you do it. He is good at synthesising information,” Xavi wrote for the Guardian.
“He talked about locking himself away in his office
watching endless videos to prepare games until he found the key to it all. He might have spent two or three hours, or more, on a video but when it came to showing it to the players, it wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes.
“He doesn’t weigh you down with it. He’s heavy-going in the demands but not in the amount of information he gives you.
“The videos would focus on aspects of the games, precise details. We didn’t change our approach as such, it was more that he analyses how you can attack your opponents.
“They would reveal where the space can be found – behind the defensive pivot, for example – and explain how we can open that up. It’s all about time and space. He would look for those details to improve the team’s chances of conserving possession, creating chances.”
Xavi added that he does not see any issues with Guardiola adapting to English football, hailing the Spaniard’s adaptability.
“He has matured and he has the experience from Bayern. He evolves too; he learns, he’s always looking to advance, seeking new solutions. There were tactical shifts there,” Xavi said.
“Those are shifts within the ideal, not a new philosophy. Pep once said if he could play with 11 midfielders he would, if he could have 100 per cent of the ball he would do that too. So, he might change … he might become even more radical. If you believe in something, you have to follow it.”
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