"They came back really well. Everyone is ready." - Pep Guardiola Pre Tottenham Press Conference
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
Ahead of facing Tottenham in Sunday's Premier League opener Pep Guardiola spoke to the media to discuss a range of topics, including the overall fitness of the team, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, and his expectations for the season. Here's everything he had to say:
First up, Pep's thoughts ahead of the new Premier League season.
"Every season I arrive had the feeling it's tougher, stronger. Better teams. Every season is a new challenge, we celebrate our title, now it's in our cabinet, in our memories, and we start again."
Pep was keen to talk no more on the Harry Kane saga, after admitting uncharacteristically in his last press conference, that City were interested in the striker.
"I answered this question the previous press conference. He's a player from Tottenham, I'm not going to talk about. I made an exception last time, usually I don't talk about transfers."
Pep was asked about geese, a topic that arose in City's latest documentary "TOGETHER", where it was mentioned that the boss was fascinated by their formation and teamwork.
"It's a good image to express what life should be. Not all the time one person leading, it can change. It's not just sport, the way we live in the season, every day, on the pitch. One individual person is less than the organisation the team."
Guardiola was then asked if City can go another season using a false nine, eluding to how the Blues would get on this season if they failed to sign Harry Kane.
"We play with recognised strikers with Aguero and Gabriel. Unfortunately, Aguero was injured, always when he was fit he was an important part of the team. He was incredibly recognised. Unfortunately was injured, he was a proper striker and Gabriel is a proper striker. Sometimes we play with a different approach, but the intention is the same to control the game and score as much as possible, with or without a striker."
"Gabriel is a proper striker. Sometimes we play with a different approach, but the intention is the same to control the game and score as much as possible, with or without a striker."
Pep was then asked how much new signing Jack Grealish will have benefitted from a week's worth of training after only training once before being involved in the Community Shield.
"Every player needs time to get his best. Yesterday was the first day we were all together, except Phil but he was in the locker room with us. Then we start the Premier League on Sunday. We need like last season, like every pre-season. We decide some players come back later than usual because they need rest. The way they behave so far has been exceptional. Hopefully sooner rather than later they reach fitness."
Next, an update on Kevin De Bruyne, who has been struggling with ankle issues since the European Championships.
"He's getting better, every day. We're still waiting. He cannot do the full training session, some with us and some alone. We'll see what happens in the next days."
As for the returning English players, it was a more positive update.
"They came back really well. The sun and rest produced a good effect. I would say really good. Everyone is ready, important is when they came back they were happy with the right energy. They need a little bit of time after four weeks off and two training sessions. It's the Premier League now and we travel to London to get a good result."
"They came back really well. The sun and rest produced a good effect. I would say really good. Everyone is ready."
Guardiola was then asked if Gabriel Jesus can step up this season.
"Always his mind was in the right place. Gabriel is an incredible important player for us, can play a striker or wider. He had an incredibly key role in these many years of success in every season."
Pep was asked about his leadership group for this season but the boss is still waiting to take the vote with the players.
"Not yet, when we finish the transfer window we will vote."
Pep was then asked about his summer to which he had only positive things to say, including his pride in the team for the accomplishments of the last season.
"It was unbelievable, great, an exceptional season. Disappointed to lose the final but after two days it was an incredible achievement. We had so few injuries thanks to the medical department and the players. One of the best seasons I've lived in my life so far. Really good for many reasons. Yesterday I congratulated the team for what they have done and we will remember for many years."
"Yesterday I congratulated the team for what they have done and we will remember for many years."
All quotes as quoted by Manchester Evening News.
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