Men's Team

Guardiola: Constant evolution crucial to City’s success

Pep Guardiola believes a willingness to evolve and change has been essential in Manchester City’s recent success.

While the nucleus of the City squad has remained relatively consistent over the past few years, the Club has had to adapt to the departure of legendary figures in Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero at the end of the past three seasons.

Guardiola’s men have still consistently challenged for titles and go into Sunday’s Boxing Day clash with Leicester as Premier League leaders.

Indeed, City have won 34 top flight games across 2021 ahead of the Foxes’ visit and have scored 106 Premier League goals, both English records.

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Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola insisted that anticipating and preparing for change is a vital ingredient to any successful side.

“It’s so difficult to replace these icons. Vinnie (Kompany), Sergio (Aguero), David (Silva), Pablo (Zabaleta)… Many important players,” he said.

“What they have done is incredible, but the Club always has to work day by day thinking the Sporting Director, manager or important players might not be here.

“People won’t be here for ten years all the time. Players move, it happens often, and the Club has to be prepared for that.

“Clubs can’t stop, they must follow and take the right decision. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

“We would love Vinnie here ten more years, and Aguero ten more years, but they have injuries, age and you have to see how much they can play in a season in a tough competition like the Premier League.

“The Club has to be ready to find a solution but it’s normal. It happens all the time and it will happen in the future, it’s not a big problem.

“You anticipate situations and work out what we need, how you want to play and how you can replace emotionally the soul of the Club – there are a few players who are irreplaceable who were so important for what they have done, these type of players like Vinnie and Sergio.

“I’m not saying now in December how many titles we will win, nobody knows but we’re there, and that’s fantastic after what we’ve done over these years.”

City’s march to the Premier League summit has been complemented by the best defensive record in the English top flight.

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Guardiola’s men have conceded just nine goals in eighteen matches so far this season, while our opponents have only been able to register 37 shots on target in that time.

Asked for the reason behind that solidity, the City boss reinforced the importance of possession in our defensive set-up.

“It’s the ball,” he replied. “The ball is the only reason why you are stable. What you do with it is the only reason.

“You create chances, it’s the ball, you concede few because of the ball.

“It’s how you play in the middle, in the situations there, how you handle that, you’ll be stable behind, you’ll be productive up front.

“Without that, the same players concede lot of chances. You have the ball, you’re in order.

“Stability is the ball. It’s not to defend 40 metres behind or up front, or high pressing or defend deep or long balls, to be stable as a team is the ball.”

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