Men's Team

Guardiola hails 'important' impact of Rodrigo

Guardiola hails 'important' impact of Rodrigo
Pep Guardiola says the ‘important’ role of holding midfielder Rodrigo has been a vital factor in City’s record-breaking run that has seen us chalk up 15 victories in a row across all competitions.

The 24-year-old Spaniard – who joined City from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019 - has been a key pivot this term, in both shielding our defence as well as prompting much of City’s best work going forward.

And though Rodrigo may not have received as much individual acclaim as a number of his Etihad colleagues for his efforts, the City boss said he was in no doubt as to his impact and quality and described him as ‘an important player.’

“He adapted quick. He adapted immediately,” Guardiola asserted when asked about Rodrigo’s impact at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur.

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“He is still young. There are some issues he still has to learn, and he will learn it.

“But he is a really important player for us.”

The holding midfield role is an especially significant position for the boss who himself held down the role to such enormous impact and success at Barcelona.

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Subsequently as a manager at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now City, Guardiola has entrusted the position to such fine players as Sergio Busquests, Xabi Alonso and Fernandinho.

And expanding on the position, Guardiola said it was a selfless task – but one that carried enormous importance for this side.

“When he plays for the other players and not for himself - this is the best holding midfielder,” the boss added.

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“Thinking about what is going on, what is happening, correcting mistakes and not playing for highlights.

“The best holding midfielders don't appear in the newspapers or front pages.

“They hide behind the team but when the team plays good it is because they are outstanding.”

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Addressing the incredible run of wins which has seen City rewrite English history and record a perfect run so far in 2021, Guardiola said the collective focus was instead fixed only on Saturday’s match.

“We are not unbeatable. The 15 games in a row winning didn't help us start 2-0 up,” Guardiola pointed out.

“I said many times, it’s nice its good and it helped us be where we are in the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup, the Champions league and Premier League.

“15 wins helped us be where we are - but no more than that. We have to start again tomorrow. This is the target.

“We try to recover, see who they are, what they have done when we played there and we need to know what to do to play better and to beat them.

“That's my only concern in the three days since Swansea.”

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