Manchester, July 8 (IANS) New Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola on Friday said it was the only football club to offer him the challenge he craved of coaching in the English Premier League (EPL).
The Catalan, in his first news conference as City coach, revealed the motivation for his move — the opportunity to prove that his own brand of possession-based football can work in England.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach said he owed a debt of gratitude to the men who made his dream a reality.
“Seriously, it was this one, so always I will be grateful to the people who trusted me to join the country and the Premier League,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“A coach, sooner or later, has to prove what it means to play in the Premier League. Manchester City gave me this chance and I will always be grateful. I will do my best until the last day to achieve what we want.”
Asked if the style which brought multiple trophies at Barcelona and Bayern Munich could prosper amid the EPL’s mayhem, Guardiola said firmly: “That’s why I’m here — to prove I’m able to do that.
“I was at Barcelona where I had the best player ever, and I knew the players from the academy. Then at Bayern, who had a lot of experience as well for many, many things. Now this is another test for me.
“It would have been comfortable to stay where we were. But I feel it’s the right time to come here and prove myself. I have to convince the players to play the way I want. At the end we will see,” the 45-year-old coach said.
City have already brought in four players since Guardiola was announced as the incoming coach, and further additions could follow before a rude awakening to the EPL against Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland.
“Against ‘Big Sam’ I will play my first game here. But I’m pretty sure it will be completely different. That’s why I’m here, and of course I have to adapt my ideas to the quality of the players. And we’re also looking for players to adapt to what I want because it’s difficult for me to convince players of something I don’t believe,” he added.
“So in this mix we have to find each other — as soon as possible — but there are two or three things that are not going to change for the rest of my life as a coach,” Guardiola concluded.