Pep Guardiola reveals the advice Xabi Alonso gave him on the Premier League

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There was a real buzz about Pep Guardiola finally making it over to the Premier League to test his abilities having been such a success in Spain and Germany.

Having won everything there is to win in both countries as well as in Europe, many believed that him doing the same at Manchester City was a foregone conclusion.

Guardiola was confirmed as Manuel Pellegrini's successor back in February last year, but didn't take up their reigns until the the summer when his obligations in Munich had concluded.

He spent big upon arrival in a bid to improve an already strong squad, but so far he has struggled to get into the rhythm of the league and his goal to lift the title in his first season in English football is already over.

A barren run of just four win in nine games late last year damaged their chances, then in February, City managed to lose back-to-back encounters with Chelsea and Leicester to effectively and what hopes they had left.

Guardiola will insist that he was thoroughly prepared for making the move over to the Premier League, and in a recent interview with Sky Sports he even admitted that he solicited some advice from Xabi Alonso on what to expect.

Alonso spent four years in English football with Liverpool from 2004-09, and told the manager something very specific that he would need to look out for.

“I was in Munich and spoke with Xabi Alonso, and he said: ‘You have to adapt, it’s the second ball, the second ball,'" Guardiola told Thierry Henry.

“But really, you have to adapt to the second ball, and the third ball, and the fourth! I never before was focused on that, because in Barcelona or in Spain, more or less the players try to play for the culture.

“That’s why they won World Cups, and they won the Euros, won the Champions Leagues, the Europa Leagues, all the time, all of the years, Spanish teams are in the latter stages, all of the teams. In Germany it was more physical, but not like here.

“Here it is all the teams, except maybe Chelsea because Antonio is playing really well and having them build up [with the ball], but the other teams are taller, stronger, physical, and you have to adapt and build from that.”

It's not really worked out for the former Barcelona coach so far, but we don't doubt that he'll get it right soon enough and turn City into genuine title contenders once again.

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Xabi Alonso
Spain Football
Bayern Munich

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