Men's Team

Guardiola: I am always picking up new ideas

Pep Guardiola has stated he is always looking to learn from his opponents.

Guardiola has dominated English football since arriving at City in 2016, winning four of the six Premier League titles available as well as an FA Cup and four Carabao Cups.

His success at the Etihad Stadium has followed trophy laden spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich meaning Guardiola has now claimed 31 major titles as a manager since first taking charge at the Camp Nou in 2008.

How to follow City v Arsenal

This season, Guardiola is leading the Blues’ charge for a third consecutive Premier League triumph. His side will take on current league leaders Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday night.

While the philosophy of his mentor Johan Cruyff is still central to Guardiola’s managerial style, our boss believes that being adaptable is the only way to remain at the top of his game.

“My biggest influence has been Johan Cruyff but many things I do I learn,” he said.

“I was in Germany and I learned many things with Phillip Lahm and David Alaba playing as full backs for example.

“With all the managers I had; Louis van Gaal, the managers I had in Italy, Juanma Lillo in Mexico, wherever I have been I have learnt a lot.

“But after you see with your players. With Erling Haaland now the way I played with Messi as a striker is completely different.

“The push from attack and defence is completely different and the way we press when we put Julian and Phil Foden together in the middle with intensity in the first step in the pressing is huge and for other players it’s not.”

City v Arsenal | Match preview

The 52-year-old has always favoured possession-based football that gives his sides a degree of control over opponents.

However, many sides elect to play in different ways.

While all managers will take ideas from their counterparts, Guardiola insists it’s how they adjust them for their own group of players that dictates how successful they will be.

“What the other managers do belongs to them because the players are different,” he stated.

“I learnt a lot watching Liverpool. It’s a team I have watched more for obvious reasons because they were our biggest rivals in recent years. They are going to come back sooner or later knowing the club and the manager and players. I have learnt a lot and tried to copy.

“It’s a feeling. If I see it and I feel it and say I can adapt to the players I have. Not because they have success so copy and paste. Mikel does what he does because he feels it.

“I have been with many top, top class managers but always my teams belong to me. I feel it, it’s mine. It belongs to me, my staff and my players.”

Friday will see Guardiola come up against his former assistant Mikel Arteta, who left the club in 2019 to take charge at Arsenal.

The Blues have won six of the seven matches between the sides since Arteta’s move but given Arsenal’s form this season, Guardiola is expecting a tougher proposition on Friday.

He said: “We have played against Arsenal and Mikel a few times but this time it is completely different I have to admit it because they are at this level.

“Many things can happen. Tomorrow we will see how we behave against them.”


You can follow Friday’s FA Cup match across and our official app.

Live updates will begin on our Matchday Centre at 18:00 (UK), a full two hours ahead of kick-off.

Matchday Live, our City-centric live studio show, will then begin shortly before 19:00 when we will deliver team news to you first. Michael Brown, Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater are the guests for that one. They will also be back at half-time and full-time to review the action.

Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison will talk you through the match with our live radio commentary, while minute-by-minute text updates continue on our Matchday Centre.

After the match, we will have reaction from Pep Guardiola and City players before highlights and a full-match replay, on CITY+ and Recast, are available from midday on Saturday.