John Stones revealed how working with Pep Guardiola has helped redefine his football intelligence, admitting learning from the City boss had ‘blown his mind’ and helped elevate his game to another level.

Since joining City from Everton in the summer of 2016, the accomplished England centre half has been one of the fulcrums of City’s remarkable success under Guardiola, winning three Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup. has

He had already established a reputation for being one of the English game’s most cultured and cerebral defenders when he moved to the Etihad from Goodison Park.

But Stones admitted that five years learning under Guardiola – and adapting to the City manager’s desire for constant improvement - has completely altered his perception and thinking about the game and helped mould him into a far better defender.


“I think I can only speak for myself, coming here and feeling that I knew football and I had an understanding of certain things or tactics,” Stones recalled.

“(Then) I came here and [Pep] blew my mind in respect of different systems, simplifying the game, how to work against a back five or a back four, all these different things that he makes so clear to you.

“It does take a bit of time to adapt and realise that my football brain wasn’t what it was and he has taken it to another level in that department.

“(Training under Pep) is intense, it is demanding and I think it is everything that you want as a footballer.

“[Pep] sets the tempo and the theme for all of us. He has won so many things in his career in different clubs and leagues.

“The proof is in the pudding and that is why he has been so successful because he demands so much of us as players and individuals and he won’t stop.

“He says it over and over, but it is his obligation to demand so much from us and demand more than previous seasons or games.


“There is always that feeling of ‘you can do more or be better’ and that is intense or demanding, but at the same time it creates such a mentality of success and a willingness to succeed and to win. We have definitely got that winning mentality.”

In the wake of his superb 2020/21 campaign, Stones signed a new long-term contract with the Club in the summer.

However, two minor but niggling injuries meant that he was sidelined for the start of the season with fellow central defender Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte dovetailing well in helping City make an excellent start to the campaign.

However, having made his first Premier League start against Burnley earlier this month and then figuring in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie at West Ham, Stones is now eager to kick on and play his part in our quest for success this term.

“I had two injuries from the start of the season that were nothing major but annoying ones that were frustrating for not only me, but the boys and the manager,” Stones revealed.

“The timings of them as well, coming back in midweek both times and you haven’t got enough time to train and get back up to speed for the game at the weekend. That is what a team is about, these things happen, and players have to step up.


“All the things that come with that I suppose, and the team are playing well, as a player I am sure everyone in there would say the same; the team are playing well, the boys are putting in good performances, they are on a winning run, sometimes you can’t change that.

“Definitely, that is where I have improved as a player and known to be very unselfish in respect of us being one and everyone contributes in whatever capacity that they can do.

“Then the international breaks, they come into play and it breaks everything up. It was frustrating up until [the Burnley game], but I am ready now and ready to kick on for the rest of the season.”