Pep Guardiola has made a perfect start in his new role as the manager of Manchester City.
He’s instilled confidence in his players and has managed to make them try things which they haven’t done before. It is always important for players to keep learning and the manager’s methods will most definitely push them to their limits. Guardiola is the right man for the task in hand at City and I believe he’s already getting the best out of his players. They are taking all the steps in the right direction.
His work with England international Raheem Sterling has seen immediate results with the player enjoying a rollicking start to the current season. Sterling needs confidence and the manager has given him the opportunity to express himself. The good effects of Guardiola’s faith is reflecting in his game. Sterling has the potential to take the Premier League by storm and leave a lasting legacy in the world game. And the former Barcelona coach can help him in achieving that. An astute man-manager, Guardiola spoke to Sterling, during England’s ill-fated EURO campaign, ensuring the youngster knew about the manager’s plans for him.
It was great man-management from Guardiola and that’s imperative at this level and at a club as big as City. It all comes down to psychology and he’s teaching Sterling and his other players mental toughness which is greatly needed. A good player is a good player but the mental strength plays an enormous part in his ability to perform in crunch situations.
Sterling has played on both flanks so far this season, but I think his best position is the right. Though, I believe his favourite position is down the middle. However, former Liverpool protege is quite flexible and his position on the field will depend on the structure of the opposition. The competition for a starting berth with the likes of Leroy Sane, a great player and probably the best new-comer in the EPL this season, will keep Sterling on his toes.
Despite loaning out striker Bony to Stoke, City has a plethora of talent upfront and the flexibility of options will provide a lot of relief to the manager as the season progresses.
John Stones, signed at the start of the season from Everton, also looks much improved as a player. Guardiola has worked on the defender’s strengths, which is going forward with the ball. The manager has dissected individual games of every player and is working to strengthen each of their core.
City has an array of midfield talent in Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva. The trio has started most of the games this season, and I am eagerly waiting to find out where Guardiola will slot Ilkay Gundogan now that he has returned to full fitness. It is a difficult call to make for the manager as all of them are great players. Belgian de Bruyne will always be present, but the others perhaps will be picked based on the assessment of the opposition. De Bruyne is thriving in his free No. 8 role and has become one of the main features at City and Guardiola can look to build a squad around him.
With the shifting out of Joe Hart and Yaya Toure’s drop down the pecking order, Guardiola has also shown his ruthless side. The manager now looks happy with the squad at his disposal. The team looks rock solid and with players fighting for positions, he has a win-win situation.
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