Pep Guardiola has described the conversation he had with a Manchester City ball boy during his side’s 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The City boss was seen deep in conversation discussing tactics with the youngster on the sidelines during the first half of the game.
The Spaniard clearly had a specific point he wanted to get across to the ball boy, and we now know the specifics.
“If you analyse 30 minutes in the first half, we were not ready to be there.
“Maybe over 90 minutes you cannot be there all the time. But it was slow.
“If there was a foul, no-one went to take the ball and start to play. There was five, ten seconds before someone goes to take the ball and start to play. When this happens everything is slow.
“So the ball boys were slow, everybody was slow. And we have to create in the game, to provoke the game. And we didn’t for most of the time in the first half.”
Essentially, Guardiola believed that should everybody involved in the City side of things begin to speed up their jobs, it would pay off.
Based on the fact that the scoreline went from 1-0 at half time to 5-0 after the 90, you could say the little chat had the desired effect.
“In the second half, you could see immediately that the team was ready,” Guardiola continued.
“We started well but after that we forgot that the ball should be moved. And the first half the ball was at the players’ feet; it’s not good.
“There were too many touches. When that happens everything is slow and our rhythm is slow and concede counter attacks and anything can happen. But in the second half we had tempo, patience and attacked quick.”