Guardiola and Sterling.

Raheem Sterling explains what Pep Guardiola said during that training clip

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Football News

When Pep Guardiola could only lead Manchester City to a third-place finish in his debut season, finishing trophyless, many football fans and pundits doubted whether his style of play could work in English football.

The Spanish boss had mastered his possession football at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich but struggled to have an immediate impact at the Etihad Stadium.

However, this season, Guardiola’s side have been irresistible.

Sixteen wins and a draw from their 17 matches has seen them establish an 11-point lead at the top of the table, sweeping everyone in their path aside - apart from Everton back in August.

Even though he’s spent the best part of £400 million since arriving, Guardiola deserves a lot of credit for getting the very best out of his players.

The most obvious example of this is surely Raheem Sterling.

Sterling has scored 13 goals this campaign - already bettering his previous best tally in a single season. The 23-year-old no doubt deserves a lot of credit as he begins to fulfil the incredible potential he showed as a teenager.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

But it seems Guardiola already deserves a lot of credit, as well.

A few weeks ago, a video of the City boss giving Sterling some coaching during training went viral. It emerged after Sterling had scored a late winner against Feyenoord as it looked as though Pep had told him to work on that exact ‘give and go’ tactic.

Watch: Guardiola gives Sterling a coaching lesson

What Guardiola said to Sterling during that clip

And in an interview with Tubes from Soccer AM, the England international has revealed exactly what Guardiola was telling him during that clip.

"He was basically telling me that, because I control the ball with the outside of my foot a lot, if I control it with an open body then I’m directly at the defender," Sterling revealed.

"It takes less time. And he was saying: 'that could be a crucial part of the game for you – get that touch out of your feet instead of having it so close to your feet.'


"Normally when I control it I want it right by my foot to then move left or right. He was saying that if you get it out of your feet, then you’re running directly at the defender.

"One of the best things about him is that simple stuff that you might not pick up on yourself. He watches over and gives you an idea of what you can do better."


It’s yet another fascinating insight into what Guardiola is like as a manager.

Some bosses may sit back and let their coaches get on with training but Guardiola adopts a very hands-on approach, knowing exactly what he wants from his players on the pitch.

And it’s subtle changes like this that has seen City run riot in the Premier League as they smash all kinds of records.

And Sterling is just one player that is benefitting massively from Guardiola’s approach.

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Raheem Sterling
Manchester City
Premier League

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