Pep Guardiola’s off-field touch-ups that have made the difference at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has eased the pressure on his Manchester City players by reducing the number of team meetings and video sessions they have to attend.

The Blues boss has adjusted his squad’s schedule to reflect the additional pressures of the lockdown, Covid protocols and the intense match schedule.

And they have been rewarded with a streak of 21 consecutive victories in all competitions that has taken them a 14-point lead at the top of the Premier League, in the League Cup final and in the Cup quarter-finals. FA, and about to reach the final. Champions League quarterfinals.

City can take another big step towards the title when they host Manchester United on Sunday.

Forward Gabriel Jesús revealed this week that the coach has lowered the intensity of everything outside of games and training sessions.

The Brazilian forward said Guardiola’s approach had changed recently, adding: “I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because of the pandemic, the constant tests, the masks, the restrictions … I think that may have changed a bit.

“Today there are fewer videos, he doesn’t talk so much, but the intensity and the desire to win are the same. It has not changed. He is always attentive, communicative on match and training days ”.

Guardiola confirmed that he had modified the club’s schedule to require less time from players between training sessions and games.

“We have fewer meetings, maybe that’s why we are winning because I don’t bother them much!” joked. “Adjust the protocols, adjust what we have to do, try to live well.

“That helps because of the fact that we are winning, but before, winning games was the same. The energy at the moment of the game.

“I cannot demand this situation in the world, the energy for ten hours because the players are the same as you and me. It’s weird, you can’t go out or make relationships with people.

“That’s why (you need) energy at the time of the game. We did it and we will try to continue like this ”.

Guardiola has also altered the way his team plays, reverting to his original plan of playing with high, open ends, and demanding manic pressure to get the ball back.

The adjustments, on and off the field, are paying off, and the more they have won, the greater the confidence in what they are doing.

“Every night you sleep better, train better,” Guardiola said. “Life, day by day, when you win in this profession gives you confidence.

“The message you want to give the players is immediately received, and when you lose you have to convince them more.

“No one is going to take these three months from us, it belongs to us. Now it’s up to us to keep going, spread out, and finally make it to the end to win the Premier League. This is the main objective.

“In the end, the books, and especially in our memories, when we can pick it up and celebrate it, that’s the point.

“The process was incredible, the most difficult period of the year November, December, January, February, we were fantastic.”


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