Mens Team

Guardiola: Performance and focus dictates selection

Guardiola: Performance and focus dictates selection
Pep Guardiola has called upon his players to maintain their best level of performance to secure their place in the starting XI.

City returned to winning ways in the Premier League with Saturday’s record-breaking triumph over Burnley, as Riyad Mahrez starred with a terrific treble.

Naturally, the Catalan boss was pleased with his side’s dominant display but has warned his players not to rest on their laurels.

With Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker rested in last Wednesday’s Champions League victory at Olympiakos, Guardiola was asked (after the Burnley win) whether there would be more rotation for our midweek trip to Porto.


The manager admitted De Bruyne had needed a break from action but asserted his selection is determined by the players’ focus and performance.

“It is not about rest,” he stated.

“Kevin was a little exhausted mentally – that’s true – but right now, I see the players who are in a better condition or more focused.

“If players believe I rest players because I am rotating, it’s a big mistake.

“Every game, I put in the best players for many reasons – sometimes for the health of the team, sometimes so they are not injured – but it’s the players who perform well.

“Players who believe that they deserve an extra position because they have been here for three or four years have a big mistake.

“Phil Foden is the youngest player we have and he deserves the same treatment and opportunities as Fernandinho – a more experienced player.

WATCH: City 5-0 Burnley: Brief highlights

“It doesn't matter about titles in the past or if you score a lot of goals - you have to show it on the pitch in the recent past, the present and especially in the future.”

The last two games have seen John Stones return to the starting line-up, as the defender completed both wins against Olympiakos and Burnley.

Guardiola added he has been impressed with the centre-back and hopes to see the 26-year-old (and the rest of the squad) build on our recent form – individually and collectively.

“He has played two games. In the previous season, it was difficult,” the Catalan boss admitted.

“Sometimes, it was my decision but mostly, it was down to injuries.

“It’s good. He was so concentrated and didn’t make mistakes. That’s what we want from the back four.

“If the opponents are good and make a good action, it’s not about this. Avoid mistakes and then the people upfront score goals.

“The ones who do this have the chance to play more games.

“In football, what you have done in the past, doesn’t mean you do it in the present. If the players consider this, they have a big mistake.

“You can buy two central defenders but maybe the central defenders you have were not good, due to injuries. By being good, you have a chance to play. It’s not complicated.


“I see the performance levels and the guys who help the team and help me – they have more chances to play.

“The other ones have to wait for the opportunity. Fight and wait for the moment and when they have the moment, do it as best you can – as well as possible.

“That’s how it works. What happened a week ago is already over – it’s in the past.

“Now, you have to do it for the next game in Portugal.”

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