Pep Guardiola is “starving” hungry for more success such is the Manchester City manager’s fear of failure.
Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Chelsea offers City the chance to kick off the campaign with silverware and build on last season’s heroics.
Guardiola comprehensively silenced any doubters that reared their head during his first campaign at the Etihad Stadium as he led the side to a record-breaking season.
Fresh from lifting the Carabao Cup, City became the first Premier League side to rack up 100 points as they stormed to the title with a record tally of goals and wins.
“From my point of view, the players don’t have to be worried – I am ready to try it again,” Guardiola said ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
“The fear to lose the games make me starving and hungry again.
“I don’t like the feeling to lose games, it’s not good for any manager around the world.
“All the managers try to avoid that feeling where you lose a game. You feel guilty, you feel bad, your private life is not good and your relationship with the players is not good.
“So that’s why to avoid that, just with that simple fear to lose a game make you hungry.”
The wider world will soon get insight into Guardiola’s methods when the behind-the-scenes Amazon series filmed at City over the 2017-18 season is released.
The trailer has offered a glimpse of what lies in store, with the City boss shown telling the players in that they sometimes play better when they are angry with him – or even hate him.
Guardiola said it was all about effectively cajoling players – an explanation that saw him seemingly take aim at Yaya Toure after the club great made some disparaging remarks following his summer exit.
“It’s true that sometimes some players need to be hugged and to be close to them, and it’s the best performance,” the City boss said. “In the same time, when you don’t speak with them, it’s when they play better.
“So, any person is completely different. The other one, sometimes when they are angry with the manager for the decisions or because you shout at them is when they play better.
“Important is they play better, not the relationship with the manager because the manager at the end he’s top, he’s an exceptional manager when we are together.
“But when they leave, after they read books, write books and making statements – they don’t have the courage to tell them face-to-face.
“So, all of them when they are here they are so sweet. ‘Oh, how good is the manager? He’s a genius.’
“But after that… normally it’s because they don’t play. Normally that’s the only reason why because the club treats the player amazingly, really good.”
Toure could be the subject of Guardiola’s ire, perhaps too Zlatan Ibrahimovic after making disapproving comments following their spell at Barcelona.
But the City boss’ main focus is the future, with 18-year-old Phil Foden a possibility to start the Community Shield in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne.
Leroy Sane, four years Foden’s senior, is surely a shoo-in at Wembley after the PFA Young Player of the Year enjoyed a full pre-season after remarkably being overlooked for Germany’s World Cup squad.
“Life is not easy so sometimes there’s ups and down,” Guardiola said. “It’s how you react in that moment that makes you stronger.
“If he is able to overcome that situation, he will be a better player. If he doesn’t, he will not compete regularly.
“So, the target of Leroy is he made an amazing season but it’s just one and you have to do another one and another one because the top, top players – and we know a huge list – in history every season are there.”