Men's Team

Guardiola: 'We can do better'

Pep Guardiola insists City can still do better, despite leading the Premier League table by 16 points.

The Blues’ boss is fulsome in his praise for his players but says there are areas that can be improved and believes there are times during games when his team could be punished – especially in the latter stages of the Champions League.

“I was delighted for the victory against Arsenal, but ahead of the game against Chelsea we will be showing the players the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half of that game because if that was in the Champions League then we would be out.

“We lost some of the control and we didn’t know what we should do – of course we are so happy with the win, but sometimes we have to let them know that we are not good enough and not let them think ‘we are perfect’.

The Catalan had praise for Chelsea manager Antonio Conte ahead of Sunday’s clash.

Though the current Premier League champions are struggling to rediscover the sort of form that saw them coast to the 2017/18 title, Pep believes Conte’s decision to employ a new system and change the course of his team’s campaign proves what an astute tactician the Italian is.

“What Antonio has done here maybe people don’t realise,” said Pep.

“He introduced another way to attack and with five at the back – another system. A lot of the teams - even Arsenal - were imitating to do that. Tactically he is a master, he did it amazing with the national team with Italy and I think Conte is going to give something for English football, I’m pretty sure of that.

“Last season we also had the pressure because people were saying, what is this guy doing? And when Manchester City do well we are in this position, it is the same.

“The position Arsene is in at this moment will happen to me, too. Of course, I want to beat Arsene, I want to beat all of them – that’s normal.

“But as for Conte, every manager has his own situation, so I can’t judge another one. He made an amazing job last season.

“What we have done – people ask what is so different to last season? – but it’s not too much.Of course, we bought a lot of new players who have helped us a lot.

“If you want to compete at high levels in all four competitions, you know that you need good players.

PEP: The boss shows his support to the City faithful after a second win in five days against Arsenal
PEP: The boss shows his support to the City faithful after a second win in five days against Arsenal

“Good players make good managers and good clubs. It’s the same in England and in Spain, you just have to focus on the next game, next game, next game and you have to improve.

“It's a joy to be manager of the players I have as it’s not just today or one day, or two days or three days, it’s been six or seven months now being every single game.

“Even when we lost we provided an outstanding performance.

“Football is the only game where you cannot shoot on target and win a game. In basketball you have to put it through the net, in golf you have to putt in the ball. That’s why you always have to be focused.

“We are not playing just for today - every game prepares us for the future. We were happy winning the Carabao Cup but even then, you have problems in certain situations and you must talk about that as when it happens in the future it may help that correction.

“That’s why it’s so good for the manager as it’s a never-ending process as always you have something to do with the set pieces.

“That’s why you have the focus and enthusiasm from the players as they know we can do better and it’s the best way to improve especially for next season.”