Guardiola insists Manchester City’s players deserve the credit for success

Jamie Jackson
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Bernadett Szabó/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Bernadett Szabó/Reuters

Pep Guardiola has admitted some credit for Manchester City’s success but insisted he has not invented anything regarding how the team play.

City host West Ham in Saturday’s midday match hoping to record a 20th successive victory in all competitions. Guardiola has guided City to two Premier League titles, including a historic 100-point haul, three Carabao Cups and the FA Cup, with 2018-19 bringing a domestic treble.

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Yet the manager is adamant most of this is down to his players. “Of course I give credit to myself, the way we play belongs to us, definitely,” he said. “Being energetic, [saying]: ‘Guys it’s not enough, we can do better, next one,’ and doing so for a long time, because all of us have sustained this for a long time. [But] the difference is the players.”

Guardiola’s side often feature inverted full-backs who come inside to join the midfield but he stated this was not his idea. “Maybe in the 50s and 60s they played with the full-backs inside,” he said. “I didn’t invent anything. It’s just the way I do it. I can play like this but sometimes I’m going to play in a different way.

“I would tell if I believed the reason why was me. I would be grateful to say that the reason behind this success is because I’m so handsome and that’s the reason why. It’s not like that. It’s the players.”

Guardiola expressed pride in his contribution. “I’m proud for the fact that when one team wins the Premier League they struggle a lot [the next season] but we won back-to-back,” he said. “This season, again we are there – this is what I’m proud of most. Four Carabao finals [the fourth is versus Tottenham in April], this is what I am proud of the most. And of course, we created this ourselves.

“But to do this you need top players. I never in my 12 years as manager scored a goal. I never saved a penalty. The artists are the players.”