Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is not just a tactical genius, but also a “tireless worker” behind the scenes, according to his assistant Mikel Arteta.
Guardiola succeeded Manuel Pellegrini in the hot seat at the Etihad Stadium back in 2016, after taking in hugely successful spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
After a trophyless first season in the Premier League, Guardiola has managed to win back to back Premier League titles, two Carabao Cups and the FA Cup at City, enhancing his reputation as one of the game’s finest managers.
Arteta, who has served as his number two over the past three seasons, insists that Guardiola’s hard work and “bravery” are the main reasons behind his unprecedented success.
“With Guardiola, it is a daily challenge,” he told Marca. “He is super-efficient with himself, and those around him should always be seeking improvements.
“The challenge is how to be better than the day before, than the previous game. He is a tireless worker.
“People say: ‘Pep is a genius’. And yes, it has a lot of validity. But if I had to define it, I would say, first, that it is a tireless ‘worker’.
“Commit and give us all the responsibility that one wants to assume. He tells you: ‘Do what you want, as far as you can’.
“Share success and failure. And, in addition, he is very brave.
“His decisions are always focused on the attack. If there is any doubt, put the one who plays best forward. Love the attack.”
The Spaniard won 14 major trophies in four years at the Camp Nou, before adding seven more pieces of silverware to his cabinet in Germany at the Allianz Arena.
Guardiola’s main ambition next year is to bring the Champions League trophy to the Etihad for the first time in the club’s history, with a few changes to his squad expected while the transfer window is open.
One pressing issue for City is a lack of competition for Fernandinho in a holding midfield role, who is approaching the twilight years of his career at 33.
Atletico Madrid enforcer Rodri has emerged as a target for the Premier League champions in recent weeks and Arteta has compared the Spaniard to Barcelona legends Sergio Busquets and Xaxi.
“Rodri? he closely resembles what ‘Busi’ [Busquets] is,” said Arteta. “Few people read the game alone, those who anticipate scenarios, who are mentally stable, who can be a coach in the field, in the case of Xabi Alonso or Xavi Hernández.
“I do not want to get into names, but our ‘six’ must understand our game. It is vital. He is the one that makes everyone work, the one that frees those in front, the one who finds superiority, the one who sets the pace.”