The Manchester City boss felt in no position to answer one particular question, so he covered several different topics instead
Pep Guardiola had no comment when asked if he is helping to change English football – but that didn’t stop him launching into a four-minute response that summed up how the Manchester City boss sees and thinks about the sport.
Guardiola’s City side will meet Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham on Sunday in a top-of-the-table battle, while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be hoping to take advantage of any slip-ups.
All three coaches are relatively new to English football and all three have enjoyed a fine start to life at their respective clubs.
When Guardiola was asked whether their approach to football could help change the future of the sport in the UK, and even help England’s national team, the Catalan had no answer.
But he made up for that by seamlessly running through several topics, including the type of football he likes to watch, how his players could not speak after their midweek draw with Celtic, how he will try to stop his players getting “tired” of him, and even picking out the journalist who prompted the infamous “what the f***” moment.
“I can’t talk about Mauricio and Jurgen,” he replied, before giving an insight into how he thinks about football. “What I like is the teams that try to do… who are active and you see that when they play, they want the ball, want to keep it, so aggressive without the ball, I like to see that and Liverpool and Tottenham is… they are both teams in that way… and they try to… I think it’s fantastic what happened in Glasgow.
“One attacked, then the other did – it was 3-3 and the fans enjoyed it and the people here watching did too. The fans for Man City were disappointed because they didn’t win but were happy with what they saw. They saw until the last moment they tried to win. That is what I am after – until the last minute try to win the games, it doesn’t matter what happened.
“At the end I went to the locker room and I think the players were tired, they were exhausted, so much so that they couldn’t talk and that is what I want from my players because in the end all our fans know that and that is why I cannot be disappointed in our performance in Glasgow.
“In the last 25 games Celtic have lost three games in their stadium so that has to be put into the balance when analysing our performance and that is why I am so satisfied with the performance.
“In the third year of my time here the team will be much much better than now. We won most of our games because of our enthusiasm, at the start a new coach wins a lot of games, but to create something stable, more controlled, you need more time and in my first year in Barcelona we won six titles in a row but by my fourth year we were better than my first year. In my third year in Munich we were better than my first year, you see the teams and the way we play, I am pretty sure of that and in my second and third year here we will be better than we are now.
“The results are almost perfect now but the performances will improve more over time. Now we won six games in a row and people say we are going to win four titles in the first season. How many clubs have done that in their first season? How many? Zero. It is so difficult. We are going to try to win the game but in my last period here the football will be better. I am sure of that.
“Pochettino is better now than when we arrived because he had time and we need time, but we sometimes don’t get time. That is the big problem we have, that is why the enthusiasm is so important. In the second year the enthusiasm is gone, it disappears, that is going to happen. I am tired of the players, they are tired of me. You are tired of me, I am tired of you.
“That is why it is important to create something stable. That is our target, working for tomorrow and the future and the future it means the young players and a lot of things.”
Yes, that was all one answer.