Manchester City’s title charge in pursuit of league leaders Arsenal proves to be a monumental task for Guardiola and his men
Pep Guardiola will take his cues in Manchester City’s title challenge from “genius” Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff as the Citizens will look to hunt down Arsenal.
The “genius” of Cruyff will help Manchester City in their Premier League title challenge
After winning back-to-back Premier League titles, Guardiola’s men see themselves 5 points behind league leaders Arsenal. The Gunners are facing relegation candidates Everton next and Manchester City will be having a tough test in London against Tottenham.
Despite the tough task of overtaking Arsenal, Guardiola believes that the lessons he received from his mentor, Johan Cruyff, will allow Manchester City’s title charge to possibly end in winning the title.
Guardiola told Sky Sports: “I won four La Ligas in a row in Spain when I was a football player. In the fifth I was not the same. In the sixth I was not the same. I was not starving enough.
“Caviar. Madrid beat me. The fifth and the sixth. I understand the players. But I am here to do it.
“I realized a little bit later. It is difficult for a player to realize in real-time exactly what is happening.
“It is ridiculous how small the margin is between winning and losing. You have to pay attention. I tried to do my best. I never doubt that players do their best.
“But at the same time you think, ‘OK, I have done it, I have won.’ After, to be on top again, it takes time.
“Johan had many great attributes but one of them was that he knew exactly how you were going to feel before you felt it, before it happened.”
“That is why he was a genius. He would tell us, ‘Now this will happen.’ Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the time it did.”
Speaking about the recent departures of high-profile players like Sterling, Jesus and Cancelo amidst their Guardiola revealed: “It has happened. We change, everyone changes. It is normal. Most of the time it is the players who decide they want to leave.
“The club is always open to do it. There are other clubs where the release clause is the most important. Someone has to pay it or you stay. I completely disagree with that.
“Always, when they are not comfortable working with the manager, the staff, the club, the city, whatever, they have to try to move on.
“Of course, there has to be an offer. But if you come with an offer, I am pretty sure we are going to reach an agreement.
“For example, Gabriel [Jesus], Alex [Oleksandr Zinchenko] and Raheem [Sterling] have gone this season.
“I could not be more grateful for what they have done for me and for this institution, winning 11 trophies in five years. It is just amazing. Believe me, I wish the best for them personally and professionally.
“It is the same with me when I leave. One day they are going to bring in a new manager with his own passion and his own ideas. Everything is going to move on.”