It’s a privilege to be coached by Guardiola

Ilkay Gundogan says it’s a privilege to be coached by Pep Guardiola and believes the City manager is one of the most innovative managers football has ever seen.

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The German midfielder was one of Guardiola’s first signings when he took over at the club in the summer of 2016 from Borussia Dortmund.

In the six years since, the 31-year-old has proven a key catalyst for our remarkable success under the Catalan, helping the Club amass 11 major honours, the most recent being the 2021/22 Premier League title. .

And as he prepared to start his seventh season at City under Pep ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener at West Ham, Gundogan paid a fine tribute to Guardiola’s incredible impact not just on City but on football as a whole.

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“I think it’s huge. In terms of qualities, I’ve never seen anyone better than him,” Gundogan claimed.

“I probably won’t see anyone better than him. I just feel privileged to be able to work with him right now for the seventh year, to still learn from him, to be valued and appreciated by him.

“I truly believe he was and is the most innovative manager football has ever seen.

PHIL-ING IT: New signing Phillips touches the ball during the pre-game warm-up.

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“I think he’s just amazing, what he’s achieved and what he’s still capable of achieving. It’s just an honor for me.”

Gundogan was instrumental in City’s latest title success, coming off the bench to score two goals in five minutes – including the title winner – in May’s dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

It was perhaps the ultimate example of the importance of the entire City squad with every player – whether in the starting XI or on the bench – able to make a decisive contribution.

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And with competition for starting places expected to be fierce again given the quality at Guardiola’s disposal, Gundogan said the role of squad rotation will once again be a key element in the quest for success. of the club this quarter.

“It’s disappointing not to be in the lineup, but you know your team is still great and you have a lot of players who are also capable of playing at the highest level,” Gundogan said.

“It’s something we also have to get used to a bit, where you can play a game and then you miss a game just because of the rotation.

“I believe everyone has a job in the game they play and their job is to give your team the best possible performance and if you are substituted you will try to give your best.

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“That’s how I see it, even if there is disappointment.”

It’s been a bit of a summer of change at the Etihad.

Four experienced players – Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleks Zinchenko – all left with four new faces in the form of Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Julian Alvarez and Stefan Ortega Moreno.

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Haaland followed the same career trajectory as Gundogan moving from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad.

But despite Haaland still being very young, having only celebrated his 22nd birthday last month, Gundogan has already seen enough of our thrilling Norwegian striker to realize he doesn’t need any special advice or guidance. to prepare for their new challenge.

“I believe someone with his quality doesn’t really need advice from me,” Gundogan added.

“[Erling and I] didn’t talk about football. We talked about personal things, he is also sitting next to me in the locker room. We haven’t talked about football yet.

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“The mentality he has speaks for itself.

“With this good mentality, he won’t have a lot of trouble adapting to English football. I really don’t believe that.”

West Ham v City

In the UK, the game will be shown live on Sky Sports, while fans around the world can find out how they can tune in through the TV programs here, courtesy of livesoccertv.com.

You can also follow the match in our Matchday Center on mancity.com and the official app, which includes minute-by-minute text updates from 2:30 p.m., while key moments will be covered on Twitter: @ManCity.

Our Match day live The show starts one hour before kick-off and is available on all of our digital platforms, including our Matchday Centre.

And, during gameplay, you can listen to live audio commentary in the Manchester City app.

Short excerpts can be viewed from 8:15 p.m., while CITY+ subscribers will also be able to enjoy every minute of the action in our full match replay starting at midnight.

Lance B. Holton