Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Entertaining fans rather than winning trophies is Guardiola's early-season focus

Published 18/09/2016

Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding as Manchester City thrashed Bournemouth 4-0
Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding as Manchester City thrashed Bournemouth 4-0

Pep Guardiola insists he is not even thinking about winning trophies at Manchester City yet.

The City boss did not hide his exasperation when asked if a clean sweep of silverware was his target this season after Saturday's 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth.

Guardiola, speaking at a press conference, swore and paused before making clear that producing an attractive, winning side is his only aim at this early stage of the campaign.

He said: "Manchester City arrived once in their lives in the Champions League semi-final, so when the people believe I am going to win the Champions League because I am a really good coach... I don't think so, guys.

"My happiness does not depend on if I am going to win all the titles or not. My target is now to be happy today, drink a little bit of wine, and tomorrow prepare for the (next) game. After we are going to see.

"My question is, 'Are the people who came to this game really enjoying it?' Yes? Wow, that is enough. To win titles or not, we will see.

"On Friday I saw two magnificent opponents - Liverpool and Chelsea. I know how difficult it will be."

But Guardiola, who won a combined 21 trophies in his spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, does admit the rate at which his side have improved since he took charge has surprised him.

City were highly impressive as they swept the Cherries aside to record their eighth successive win since Guardiola arrived in the summer.

The team seems to be getting better with each game as Guardiola's methods take hold and the Spaniard feels there is a long way to go yet.

He said: "Against Sunderland we played the first 5-10 minutes and 15-20 minutes of the second half good, the other (times) not.

"So I am a little bit surprised how much we are able to play at a good level. I didn't expect that.

"We are a good team, but I think we can make it better. Of course we are happy, but it is not enough.

"Now we have four games away and we are going to see how we react in those games."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph