Mens Team

Begiristain: Tactical innovation key to success

Txiki Begiristain celebrates City's 2017/18 Premier League title win
City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain says tactical flexibility will be crucial in the Club’s challenge for silverware.

Pep Guardiola’s side returned to winning ways in the Premier League with an emphatic, record-breaking win over Burnley, becoming the first team since 1907 to win four successive home games by at least a five-goal margin against the same opponent.

The victory moved City up to eighth in the table in a campaign which Begiristain believes will be the most competitive so far.

Speaking on our We’re Not Really Here live matchday show, our Director of Football expressed his delight for the news of Guardiola’s two-year contract extension, hailing the Catalan’s tactical innovation and flexibility.

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“Pep is really happy and we are really happy with his commitment to this Club for this next two years,” he said.

“He is already working hard as always, thinking how to beat the opponent. I am so happy to see him here.

“I can’t say what (innovations) we will see. It’s always changing.

“It depends on the opponent. Pep studies a lot and he can see the things we have to change – there are variables.

“We can play with defenders playing wide but we can also play with wingers… Sometimes we have two strikers and we have seen double holding midfielders with a defence of four or sometimes with three…

WATCH: City 5-0 Burnley: Brief highlights

“The good thing is that there is just not one system we can play. The principles are always there – the build-up and high pressing – but after that, it’s seeing how to beat the opponents this year.

“You can see (the league is more competitive) with the scores and the difficulties for everyone to win games.

“Tottenham and Leicester are there, Everton started well and Southampton.

“You can see the performance of teams that in other years were battling. They are there.

“It means the gap from the top to the bottom has been reduced. It’s difficult.

“It’s a very testing league but it has always been like this.

“We want to be fighting for everything – every title we are playing for – and we want to win.

“We always have the Champions League in mind but we want to keep winning leagues and cups to dominate in this country.

WATCH: Guardiola sets players Premier League challenge

“If you dominate in this country, something is going to come from Europe.”

As City ready ourselves for a gruelling period of fixtures in the festive calendar, Begiristain highlighted the importance of rest and recovery where possible.

“It has always been this since the first day,” he continued.

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“We didn’t have time in pre-season so we couldn’t prepare well.

“We started to play two matches per week. It’s difficult.

“Until January, we will be very busy. It is what it is.

“Now, we have almost all players back in the squad, which is a good thing.

“We will try to have some days of training – not only for recovery but also to prepare for the games.”

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