Pep Guardiola has absolutely dominated the Premier League since joining Manchester City.
After spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich that firmly established him as one of the greatest managers of all time, Guardiola had little to prove, but came to the English top flight in 2016 regardless.
In the time since, he’s taken City from a level of being an exciting team on the up, to one of club football’s most consistently elite sides, capable of outplaying anyone over a 90 minute contest.
Oh, he’s backed it up with silverware too. Lots of it.
Guardiola has won four Premier League titles over the last five seasons and completely raised the game in the league, smashing points records and elevating the expectation of title contenders significantly, all while playing crushing, total football.
It took him a year or so to adjust, but with consistent investment into the squad, patience and coherent planning, he has completely transformed City and turned them into a club now founded on intricate footballing philosophies, from the ground up.
And while it is absolutely infuriating for fans of other Premier League clubs who have to watch City play near perfect football most weeks and suffocate teams with intricate passing, detailed approach play and killer instinct around the box, sometimes you’ve got to doff your cap and simply admire the genius.
Guardiola’s understanding of the game was on show on Monday Night Football in 2018, with footage resurfacing on YouTube of himself, Gary Neville and David Jones analysing a clip of his side following their 2017/18 title win.
It’s seriously captivating to watch. Not just for the close-ups of Guardiola’s team in action, but for his thoughts and musings about what he’s looking for in the attacking build-up. Be sure to check it out below.
WATCH: Guardiola’s ‘fascinating’ breakdown of City’s attack in 2018
Focusing on the positions of wingers in Guardiola’s systems, Neville explains how his decision to keep wingers high and wide makes it a ‘nightmare’ for full backs like he was, due to the fact that it creates a dilemma over where to be positioned.
Interestingly, the two discuss Barcelona’s 1994 side under Johan Cruyff – which Guardiola played in – and he insists that his ideas are inspired by Cruyff’s musings, adding: “He [Cruyff] believed a lot in the wingers to be wider and higher, good quality one against one, to make a lot of passes.”
He went further, explaining the logic behind the way he set up City in the clip: “I think for the back four it’s more complicated. When they are narrow, it is easy to control. When they are wider, it is more difficult. That is the only way to make the pitch as big as possible.”
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It’s simplistic when you hear it coming from Guardiola and Neville in a casual conversation, but to actually drill that into a top side and have them execute it to perfection over and over again, as well as instructing each individual player to rotate seamlessly and move correctly at the correct moments, is sensational.
When watching the clip through, you can see City’s attackers moving like clockwork, exactly how Guardiola explains, and it’s magical to watch.
Fans in the comments were of course impressed. Let’s check out some of the best responses.
Guardiola’s City go again this year in an attempt to retain the Premier League for a third season in a row, which only one other team has ever done – Manchester United, twice.
And having made the perfect start with two wins from their opening two league games, confidence is higher than ever.