Men's Team

Guardiola: Foden’s fate in his own hands

Guardiola: Foden’s fate in his own hands
Pep Guardiola says Phil Foden’s attitude and application will determine the level of success he enjoys during his career.

Foden, a City academy graduate, has long been touted as a potential star, but his displays this season have now heightened expectations.

He is third on City's scoring charts having bagged 10 already, with his latest a quite remarkable strike in Sunday’s 4-1 win at Anfield.

With Foden’s physical stature now aligned with his undoubted natural ability, some believe he is the most talented midfielder England has produced since Paul Gascoigne.

Guardiola has never had any doubts about Foden’s quality – but he says it’s now down to him to maximise his talent and achieve the kind of success he is capable of with a blend of hard-work and humility. 

"For me, no [it’s not a challenge], it will be for him,” Guardiola said.

“He has to be calm, to understand the tough periods will come.

"It depends on his humility and love for the game. The expectations are there - we will see if he can handle it.

"Now the people now expect every game to do exceptional things. This is the most difficult thing.

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"Arrive and being there, playing 100 games is difficult. But it’s important to do 100 more at this level. 

"This is the toughest one. This is why the greatest players isn't about once big action at Anfield, it’s playing for five years in a row playing consistently.

"This is the next target for Phil - maintain this and play as high as possible as long as possible.

"It depends absolutely on him. Hopefully he can do it.

"I said to him 'don't read much, don't listen much, keep your feet on the grass and keep going'

"I know Phil is ready to play because his physical condition is extraordinary." 

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Meanwhile, Guardiola has praised the progress Rodri has made since joining the Club in the summer of 2019.

The midfielder has played 31 times in all competitions this term, making him one of Guardiola’s most trusted lieutenants.

He has been quietly effective, with his display at Anfield on Sunday one that mixed muscle and passing mastery.

Guardiola says he is delighted with his progress, but believes there's plenty more to come from a player whose time under the guidance of Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid has provided him with a platform to excel in English football. 

"Rodri since he arrived settled really quick and really well," Guardiola said.

"Of course, he's improved because he came from another country to a different league with different messages.

"But all he learned in Spain with Simeone was so important for us, it has helped him a lot. In the national team now, too, with Luis Enrique. It helps him improve as a player.

"He is a young guy - 23, 24 - but he is a guy with huge personality, it doesn't matter which stadium he plays in.

"He has huge character and hopefully he can do better day by day in the future."

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