Guardiola ‘excited’ to show Premier League a new way of playing

Rob Conlon
Pep Guardiola: Manager already making his mark

Pep Guardiola admits it will take time for Manchester City’s players to fully adapt to his methods as manager.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has made a confident start as City’s new manager, winning his first four games.

Some of the Spaniard’s systems and tactics have been eye-catching, notably the fluid movement of defenders with full-backs pushing into central midfield and centre-backs moving wider.

Guardiola says the approach will be modified depending on opponents and he is not expecting his players to grasp everything immediately. For now he recognises the importance of merely winning games for confidence.

Reflecting on his first impressions of England, Guardiola said: “Congratulations to the Premier League because it is well organised with traditional stadiums. It’s very tough, so demanding.

“But I will try and implement our point of view, our way, to see our game here in England. I’m so excited to convince our players to play the way we like. Until now, of course results help.”

City host West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday looking to maintain their 100 per cent start in the Premier League.

Victory would give them three wins from three heading into the international break and set them up nicely for their next game, the derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 10.

Willy Caballero is expected to return in goal after Guardiola said on Friday that new signing Claudio Bravo is fit but not yet ready for action.

Caballero had been preferred this season to England number one Joe Hart until sitting out the formality of City’s Champions League play-off second leg against Steaua Bucharest in midweek.

Hart featured in that game – which City won 1-0 to complete a 6-0 aggregate success and qualify for the group stage – in what was widely perceived as a farewell appearance amid speculation over his future.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Hart moves on before next week’s transfer deadline with potentially interested clubs such as Everton, Liverpool and Sevilla distancing themselves from the keeper.