Cape Town – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and football pundit Gary Neville discuss the tactics behind the club's recent success in the Premier League.
The Sky Blues broke seven records – most goals (106), most points (100), most wins (32), most away wins (16), biggest positive goal difference (79), biggest title-winning margin (19 points) and least time trailing (153 minutes) – as they were crowned champions with five games left of the English Premiership season.
After being named the LMA Manager of the Season, Guardiola appeared on Sky Sports Monday Night Football with Neville and host David Jones.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager discuss various topics but one that stood out on the evening is when former defender himself probed Guardiola about the way he gets his players to play effectively.
"The biggest change this season in terms of watching your team [Manchester city] play, is how much you keep possession in the final third. Starting attacks, stopping attacks and the fullbacks are critical in your system. I'm interested in knowing as fullback, about your shape of the team," Neville asked.
To which Guardiola responded: "Last season we had him [Fabian Delph] and I never asked him to play in that position, I didn't realise. Then we lose Mendy for six months and say Fabian you have to play there. It's OK. A holding midfielder with the ball, his concentration is always good and he can play there. When people say 'Pep how good he is', why didn't I realise it last season?
"Maybe I had Gael and Kola in that positions and they did quite well, but this season we had Mendy unfortunately injured for six months. And [Oleksandr] Zinchenko is a No 10 playing at full-back and playing good. But you ask him to go up and down and he cannot do it, you ask Fabi to go up and down like Mendy or Kyle Walker and he cannot do that. So he gets there, passes the ball, control that guy, that's enough and he did it really well."
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