Tags Posts tagged with "Pep Guardiola"

Pep Guardiola

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Now it’s official: after including him in the Champions League playoff squad-list, Manchester City announced the signing of John Stones from Everton.

The centre-back signs until 2022: the fee of the transfer is still undisclosed, but it was rumoured that the Toffees wanted £ 60m for their ex player.

Chelsea tried to sign him last summer but Everton rejected three bids by the Blues: the last one believed to be £40m, causing frustration in manager José Mourinho that was already undergoing hard times in the beginning of the last season.

The Stamford Bridge outfit made another attempt so sign Stones this summer, but the Toffees raised his fee again, until Manchester City offered what they have been expecting for two years.

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Chelsea don’t give up on Leonardo Bonucci despite Manchester City challenging them with an insane offer: in fact, the new Pep Guardiola side are keen to place a € 60m ( £ 51m) bid on the Italian defender.

Juventus would like to keep their centre-back, that has been so important to achieve last years successes, but Antonio Conte knows him really well from his experiences at the Bianconeri and as Italy’s coach and would like to bring him at Stamford Bridge to revamp his defense.

Meanwhile, Citizens want to beat Chelsea with this huge offer that probably is too high for a defender that is almost 30 years old, but the Blues don’t give up and count on Conte’s feeling with Bonucci to try convince him to land in West London.

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New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola spent nice words for Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte in the day of his first official press conference for the Etihad side.

“Conte is a master tactician,” the Spaniard claimed.

“It’s a very good signing. It’s going to be very interesting competing against him.”

“It’s great that so many top managers are here,” he added speaking about the next Premier League.

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Manchester City are keen on Everton star John Stones and are said to be confident they will win the race to sign the 22-year-old, according to the Sun.

Also Chelsea and Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move to sign the England international, who is currently playing the Euros.

New Citizens manager Pep Guardiola is ready to bid £50m for the centre-back and £30m for Schalke sensation Leroy Sane.

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Chelsea striker Pedro knows Pep Guardiola really well, having spent four years with him at Barcelona, winning many trophies together, including two Champions League.

The Blues forward, anyway, reckons it won’t be easy for his former manager in his new adventure in the Premier League, where he will take charge at Manchester City:

“Although we know he is a great coach, Pep is not going to have it easy,” Pedro said to Marca.

“It’s a difficult league, complicated. I don’t think he will be able to express his football.”

 

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While a guest to Sky Sports program Monday Night Football Cesc Fabregas spoke also about his former boss Pep Guardiola, that next year will come to Premier League to manager Manchester City:

“What he [Guardiola] wanted to do is change formation,” said Fabregas about the Spanish coach playing style.

“I think after three years playing at a fantastic level and winning many things, he felt the other teams were catching the way of playing against Barcelona on a 4-3-3.

“He wanted to play a different system with three at the back, four in midfield plus Lionel Messi dropping deep – he wanted to dominate midfield more than anything – and to have two wide players always open and threatening to go in behind defenders.

“Yes, [I enjoyed it] because I had a lot of freedom. They tell you play wherever you feel you are dangerous and I love this kind of thing, because it’s like a number 10, but with the mentality of the goalscorer.”

Fabregas also revealed why he left Barcelona:

“There’s a little thing with Xavi in 2010 before the World Cup he told me ‘you have to come, my Achilles, I will not last too long’ – and then I came and he still played for five years and that didn’t help,” Fabregas said, joking.

“But 100 per cent it didn’t help there were so many midfielders and there was one less spot than when I came under Pep.”

Cesc also gave his opinion on Guardiola being next Manchester City boss:

“You always want to play against the best, 100 per cent Pep will bring new things to the Premier League, to Man City.

“They will be a force next year, they are already this season, you see they are in the semi-finals of Champions League and fighting to be in the top three. All the teams will have to be even stronger.”

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Terry and Lampard in last year challenge beteween Chelsea and Manchester City © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard spoke to TalkSPORT ahead of the game between two of his English former clubs: the London Blues and Manchester City.

The New York City FC midfielder was surprised that he could properly follow the Premier League while in the USA:

“We get more games on TV here than in the UK,” he says over the phone from his New York home. “When I first got here, I wasn’t sure if I liked watching it. It was kind of fresh because I’d just finished, but as I’ve been here longer I’ve watched more.

“How would I sum up this season? A one-off. Refreshing. Just a crazy season.”

LEICESTER ON TOP -We all have our teams – I’ve got Chelsea strong in my heart, and a bit of Manchester City – but no one can say they haven’t been excited by the idea of a team like Leicester doing what they look like doing. Big teams have underperformed and Leicester are the fairytale. I thought they would be caught. But with the big results they’ve pulled off and the consistency they’re playing with, plus the lack of games left, I think it’s pretty much theirs. The only thing that can stop them now is the nerves that can come when a team isn’t used to being in that position. But they look like they’re enjoying it. There’s a difference between feeling pressure in a negative way and enjoying it, and at the moment the whole place is buzzing. Watching on TV you can feel the atmosphere. That might carry them over the line.”

RANIERI - “I’ve always followed Claudio Ranieri’s career because he was a huge turning point in mine when he took me to Chelsea. Leicester was a difficult job, though. I know he’s a good manager and a man who galvanises players, but I wasn’t sure what he had to work with there. He and every player have exceeded themselves. In recent weeks, when the pressure could have been tough for the players, he’s taken it off them with a smile and the way he behaves. It’s not just down to him, though. The players have come out of nowhere to look like world-beaters. Some are in their international teams now, when they were nowhere near them at the start of the season. They’re the ones who go out there and do it consistently, so credit to them.”

RELEGATION BATTLE -In recent years we’ve seen so-called big clubs, who believe they can’t go down, getting relegated. That’s when a club has to take a look at itself from top to bottom – from players to recruitment, owners and managers… Aston Villa have looked completely disjointed this season. In previous years they’ve consistently been at the higher end of the league, but now they look like one of the worst Premier League clubs we’ve seen.”

GUARDIOLA TO CITY - “When a club announces a new manager is coming in at the end of the season, it shouldn’t have any impact on the players. But history says it does affect teams. Manchester City will be the club that asks: ‘Was that the right time to announce it [Pep Guardiola’s signing]? They dropped from a title-winning position afterwards. When Chelsea announced that Antonio Conte was coming in they didn’t have much to lose, so for them it was wise to lay their cards on the table.”

CONTE TO CHELSEA - “Conte has a big job to do. There’s been a transition at Chelsea that looked like it was going in a good direction, but it’s gone in a completely negative one. They shouldn’t be where they are now. You can see Conte is going to take the bull by the horns and try to imprint his style and technique on the club. He might need to bring in players who will respond to that. There will be a change of personnel at Chelsea.”

CHELSEA SEASON - “Chelsea’s players have underperformed. Important players, too – ones who were at a really high level last year. I don’t know if that’s because of issues they have with the club, the manager; if it’s just form, or injuries. The players have to look at themselves and ask: ‘How can so many underperform to that level?’ You can have bad seasons, but you shouldn’t have a bad one where you finish in the bottom half. The big test is how they come back, because Chelsea can’t afford to be out of the top four for two years consecutively.”

JOHN TERRY’s FUTURE - “I imagined finishing my career at Chelsea, and I know John would have, too. But you do have moments when you wonder where your career is going, and I found that period difficult at the end of my time at Chelsea. It’s now the choice that John makes. If he doesn’t stay, where does he go? For me it’s been an amazing experience to go to Manchester and New York, even when I didn’t expect it. And it might be the same for John if it does go that way. But it’s a difficult situation – you’ve got a family and you’re wondering where you’re going to live. You go from being very stable and at a club you love to having to take in all these other variables. So it is not an easy time. John will be going through all that now.”

 

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Pedro Pablo Pasculli shared the dressing room with Antonio Conte at Lecce, the side of new Chelsea manager native city, in the late 80s. Meanwhile he was sharing another dressing room, the one of Argentina national team, with one of the greatest footballer in history: Diego Armando Maradona, with whom he won the World Cup in 1986 in Mexico.

Now Pasculli is a manager, like Conte, and he’s currently in charge at Jumilla, a Spanish third division side.

He is still friend with the Italian coach, they meet whenever their job duties allow them in Italy, so he knows the new Blues manager really well.

We reached him to have an opinion of the new Chelsea boss and what the Blues fans can expect from him:

“I think Chelsea made the right choice appointing Conte, because he’s got a strong character, what he learnt on the pitch when he was playing was then transmitted to his players.

“He demands 110% from the players, from everyone, so I guess he will do a good job in England because of this. English football is tough, very energetic, it’s really focused on physical strength and his sides always played this way, with long balls and a lots of playing on the wings. He’s got the right approach for English football.

“His football is really different from the one of Pep Guardiola, that prefers fast ball possession ( tiki taka). The Spanish manager risks to have issues if he doesn’t adapt a little bit to English style.

“Conte is a great motivator, he demands a lot, I agree with people that compare him to José Mourinho, that is really able to motivate the players, the people that surround him and the fans, and he’s also able to control the press.

“Antonio will do well because he knows he has to give 100% to become popular and respected also out of Italy.

“Next year he won’t play in the Champions League, but this can be a little advantage for him because he has to build a team to compete in the Premier League title race so to qualify again for the Champions League. It would be a problem for Chelsea to not qualify for two years in a row, so he knows he has to do well, I hope he can resist there for at least a couple of years.

“It’s also a personal challenge for him, to do better in the Champions League where he was not very successful in the two seasons with Juventus,  and I think he’s got the strength to do it.

“On the language barrier: I guess he studied English in these months, because he has been in contact with Chelsea for a while, they have been negotiating for months.  Maybe at the beginning he can have some little issues for team speeches, because on the touchline you don’t have to use many words to give directions, but he is a really smart guy, he was also attending the university when we played together in Lecce, and I am sure he prepared himself at his best for this experience.”

Conte and Pasculli when they were playing together at Lecce in the late 80s
Conte and Pasculli when they were playing together at Lecce in the late 80s

 

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is sure that José Mourinho joining Manchester United next summer can be a great deal for both parts:

“After Jose’s experience at Chelsea and how it ended, I think he’d like to go to a club the size of Manchester United,” the NYFC midfielder claimed.

“They are not happy with where they are at. It’s a good option for both United and Jose – a good fit.

“Jose will get the best out of the players there. He will recruit top players. If I’m in charge at United and I see Pep Guardiola going to Manchester City, Jose would be top of my list.”

Lampard believes he will remain a true a legend at Stamford Bridge, even if he will move to the Red Devils:

“It was a shock when he left Chelsea, the speed of the fall was unexpected.

“But he will be forever in the list of the top Chelsea managers because of what he achieved and what he won there.”

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Chelsea legend Frankie Lampard spoke to the Mail on Sunday and revealed that he wondering if today’s the Blues got some real leaders in the dressing room:

I do worry about where the real personalities of the team are,” he claimed.

“To be a big team, you have to have big personalities.

“I don’t want to sound like I am harking back to the days of me and John (Terry) and Ashley Cole and Petr Cech and Didier Drogba but I do see a team now where John is the last mainstay of that identity.

“Maybe Chelsea are looking for a more beautiful way now. The club has been trying to push it down that route with the players they have recruited over the last four or five years.

“The problem is if you fall in the middle, somewhere between tough and beautiful. It’s nice football at times but it’s not that nice and it’s not really winning games. It’s not beautiful, beautiful stuff.

“They need to buy two or three big players. Because being 11th in the Premier League is ridiculous for Chelsea.”

Last season Lampard played for Manchester City prior to his move to current club New York City, so he gives his opinion also on Citizens’ next manager, Pep Guardiola:

They will be a huge force under Guardiola. I think, yes, Man City can push on in a massive way. He’s an innovator.

There are two geniuses: Jose Mourinho and him. What a great rivalry that will be if Jose goes to Old Trafford.”

Speaking about his future he said:

“I don’t know yet whether this will be my last year as a player – but whether it is or not, I don’t want to go out with a whimper.”

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