Men's Team

Pep unfazed by Spurs setback and optimistic for season ahead

Pep Guardiola says every campaign is different and is not expecting a repeat of last season’s rocky start despite another truncated pre-season

City won just three of the opening nine games in 2020/21, taking 12 from a possible 27 points before winning 21 or the next 23 Premier League matches on the way to a third title in four years.

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The opening day loss at Spurs, with the champions’ pre-season affected by players returning at staggered times following exhausting summers, has led to comparisons with last season’s first few weeks when City lost to Leicester and Spurs, as well as drawing with Leeds, West Ham and Liverpool.

But Pep says that he isn’t thinking along those lines and will just look at each game as it comes.

“I would have preferred to have played better and won the game last Sunday,” said Pep.

“Especially the first 15 minutes when we were so good - but after that, we couldn't control the transitions.

“It’s never easy against Spurs. What happened last season doesn't mean it will happen again.

“We have to prepare game by game. The lesson I learned from the last few years is how many players do you have for the training session? How many are there for the game? – and then try to win that game.

“The rest is hypothetical. I am not a guy to venture what is going to happen this season.” 

Guardiola also said that he is more than happy with his squad and would still be if the transfer window ended tomorrow.

New signing Jack Grealish is City’s only high profile signing of the summer and the boss says his new charge will need time to settle.

“Everyone needs time, of course for Jack, a bit more because he is new,” said Pep.

“The team is going to help Jack be who he is and he will help us be the team we want to be. All together. Alone, we cannot do it.

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“As for my squad, I don’t have any doubts. What they have done so far, for many, many years, the main group are the same.

“I know their mentality, I know they want to do it, but football is unpredictable.

“Anything can happen. Bad periods can happen again but I am more than optimistic (for the season ahead).”

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