Guardiola on Stones’ Vital Role in Man City’s System

Guardiola Opens Up About Early Insecurities at Manchester City”

Pep Guardiola, the esteemed manager of Manchester City, has revealed his initial feelings of insecurity and nervousness upon taking charge of the club in 2016. Despite his impressive track record at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola faced challenges during his early days at City.

Speaking to TNT Sports ahead of City’s UEFA Champions League clash with Young Boys, Guardiola acknowledged that these doubts ultimately served a purpose. He stated, “To prove myself, with what we wanted to do, with the way we wanted to do it in this country. I was curious, nervous, and a little bit insecure. We worked so hard in the first years and months. Always you have doubts. It’s good to have insecurity or doubts because it makes you alert.”

One of Guardiola’s key strengths lies in his ability to utilize players in innovative ways, implementing his meticulous tactical approach to the game. At Bayern Munich, he famously transformed Philip Lahm from a full-back into a central midfielder, and he experimented with a false nine at Barcelona and elsewhere.

At Manchester City, Guardiola has faced similar situations, with his most recent influential decision being to deploy John Stones in central midfield to enhance his team’s control. Guardiola praised Stones, stating, “Without John, I could not play that way. I feel secure when I have a lot of players in the middle, and John can do that. He’s so intelligent and smart, making clever runs up front. He’s a good defender. So that’s why I figured out he was able to do it and he can do it.”

Guardiola also discussed the emergence of 18-year-old Rico Lewis, who has already made regular appearances for City. Guardiola expressed his admiration for Lewis, stating, “Rico helps us do some incredible movements we’ve never seen before. Smart, intelligent player.” Guardiola believes that as the number of attacking players at his disposal decreases, Lewis will have the opportunity to showcase his talents further up the pitch.

In conclusion, Guardiola believes that Lewis would already be regarded as one of England’s best players if he possessed a more imposing physical stature. Guardiola remarked, “I was always having the feeling that the only problem of people having an opinion of Rico is because if he was a little bit taller, he’d be considered one of the best players in England.

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