EPL 2016-17: Pep Guardiola unveiled at Manchester City
Manchester City had their first look at the manager their owners and fans have been coveted for several years now in Pep Guardiola.
He walked out onto a stage that made him seem like a famous musician, but seemed as humble and coherent as ever, if only a little uncomfortable by the attention that was showered on him. Guardiola will take charge at City after a trophy-laden spell at Bayern Munich, choosing to move on from the German club even though the Bayern hierarchy would have been happy with him to stay.
“Thank you for giving me this chance to live in England,” he started his talk off with.
“I proved myself where I was born in Barcelona, I proved myself in Deutschland...and at the end what I want is our supporters to enjoy and be proud of what we did. After that, maybe we’ll achieve titles. We need our fans - I cannot do this alone. Without our fans, it’s impossible. Every manager in the world wants to improve his players. I work like all managers in the world - I have my point of view, how I want my players to play. As soon as possible, we want to create a team spirit - after that, we can talk about tactics. The most important thing is our body language etc.”
Guardiola was trying to give the City fans an insight into how he would approach the challenge at City, in revitalizing a team that has talent, but also needs reinforcement in key areas, a concern the club is of course already addressing on the transfer market. Manchester City have also spent a lot of money in constructing world class training facilities for their youth, and here is what Pep had to say on that,
“One of the reasons I came here is that I knew how much work they are doing with the young players. The fans need the players who grew up in the Academy, because they feel something special about those players.”
The former Barcelona star also fielded some questions from the audience,
‘Are you going to buy Messi?’ was a curious shout from the crowd. “He’s not a bad player, this guy. But I’m sorry, Messi has to stay in Barcelona for the rest of his career.”, Pep replied.
A question about what are the most important qualities as a player: “A good teammate. I like players who think a little about themselves, but more about Manchester City. We want players who will make this a better club, in three, four, five years. First, I have to meet my players, so I know whether I can demand something from my players that they can’t give. I have to know if I can feel it, and my players have to know me as well.”
That pretty much wrapped up Guardiola’s first address to the fans, he seemed much more keen on getting straight to work in what is sure to be an exciting and ultra-competitive premier league season.