Barcelona legend Carles Puyol thinks the Manchester City job is the biggest challenge in Pep Guardiola’s managerial career yet. The Manchester City boss had previously coached other European powerhouses such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
"It's the biggest challenge for Guardiola,” said Puyol. “But I think he will change football in England."
Puyol and Guardiola previously worked together at FC Barcelona where they won 14 trophies together. He was also an integral part of Guardiola’s treble-winning team in the 2008-09 season when Barcelona won the La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey.
The former Barcelona player also recognized the different brand of football that is being played in the Premier League, “"A lot of people say football is different in England to other countries but the way Guardiola works and puts pressure on his players will change football here a bit.”
The 38-year-old also said that Guardiola’s biggest challenge will be changing the direct style of football in England, “His biggest challenge is to change the direct style of football. Now in England, the football is more direct, with big centre-backs.” Puyol also admitted the reason why he couldn’t be successful against English teams, “I couldn't play there because I'm too small.”
Pep Guardiola was enjoying a 100% result with Manchester City in the Premier League before a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.
The former Barcelona captain also described Guardiola’s vision on playing football as he knows it, “Guardiola wants to start playing from the back with intelligent play from the goalkeeper. It doesn't mean he won't play long like against Manchester United when they scored a goal with three touches, but it's the whole style. He is based on ball possession and playing from the back.”
The Spaniard was positive about the former Bayern Munich manager’s influence in his teams, “have seen his influence on the team very quickly. He is doing very well, he has very clear ideas which he tries to transmit to the players.” Puyol also revealed that Guardiola was the best coach he played for, "He is the best coach I ever worked with and I'm pleased to see him in England.”
According to Puyol, the treble-winning manager is known for his unique way of pressurizing the players, “He puts a lot of pressure on the players but the players feel free under Guardiola. It's tough but I understand football like that, I enjoy it.” He also told that the treble-winning manager thinks that every footballer can improve and play at a higher level than his current self, which helps to motivate the footballers.
Earlier this month, Puyol’s former Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez was almost identical with Puyol in his comments over Guardiola’s reign as the Manchester City boss. According to the former Barcelona midfielder, Guardiola has the ability to challenge the direct approach of English football.
Pep Guardiola will be facing high-flying Everton on October 15 after his first league defeat as Manchester City manager.
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