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Guardiola's influence on England v Spain

PEP GUARDIOLA: Giving instructions to John Stones

PEP GUARDIOLA: Giving instructions to John Stones

Ahead of the major international friendly between England and Spain tonight, Pep Guardiola’s influence on the nations has been brought into full focus.

Guardiola managed many of Spain’s stars during his time at Barcelona while he has also had an effect on the likes of John Stones and Raheem Sterling since moving to England.

The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel feels the Catalan’s impact is stamped all over the fixture - one of the biggest possible in the game.

He writes: “When England's manager-elect Gareth Southgate discussed the aspects of Spain's game that he wanted his players to emulate, they were the strengths honed by Guardiola at Barcelona.

“And when talk turned to John Stones and the simplistic alternatives of row Z versus being caught in possession — hey, there might just be a third way — it was obvious Guardiola's instruction would be crucial there, too.

Guardiola is changing football in this country. His ideas are key to the way Southgate wants to play, key to the development of Stones and key to repositioning goalkeepers as the deepest member of the defence, rather than as a role apart.

“And because Guardiola is regarded as such an important and innovative thinker, it is not impossible that his ideas will make facets of the English game barely recognisable 10 years from now.

“So this is a test for Southgate's England. To learn from the best of Guardiola and Spain, but to imbue that ambitious style with the strengths of the domestic game.”

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Elsewhere, ESPN’s #FC100 has been ranking the best players in every position across the pitch and in the dugout, with some excellent results for City stars.

Pep Guardiola has been ranked as the best manager in the world, beating Diego Simeone and Jurgen Klopp to the title.

ESPN say: “"Stubborn" is probably not the first word that would spring to mind when describing Pep Guardiola, but that could be his most important characteristic, at least the one that has enabled him to continue with his methods and beliefs: such as bringing his ball-playing style to his Premier League defenders.”

Kevin De Bruyne has been ranked ahead of Andres Iniesta and Mesut Ozil as the best attacking midfielder on the planet while Sergio Aguero is second on the striker’s list behind Luis Suarez.

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On De Bruyne, ESPN said: “His current manager certainly appreciates him, and one suspects that the prospect of working with players like the Belgian helped Pep Guardiola make the decision to move to Manchester City.”

Whereas, on Aguero, they write: “What strikes you most is his otherworldly consistency. He made his debut a month after turning 15. Two seasons later he notched 18 goals and since then, he has scored 17 or more (often far more) every single year bar one.”

Raheem Sterling and Nolito featured in the top ten wingers and Claudio Bravo takes his place at ninth on the goalkeepers’ list.

That’s all for this morning’s round-up! There will be more throughout the day with a comprehensive look again tomorrow morning on mancity.com!

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