Guardiola: I’d rather retire than play defensive football

Date published: Sunday 10th December 2017 9:27

Pep Guardiola says that he would never leave his principles of passing, attacking, possession football.

Facing Manchester United on Sunday is inevitably leading to comparisons between the styles of Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, broadly sold as possession and passing vs pragmatism.

If that means that Mourinho is more versatile than Guardiola, Manchester City’s manager is not about to change.

“If that is going to happen [playing without the ball], I’m going to retire,’ Guardiola said.

“Because I don’t feel it another way. I could defend more deep but I want to have the ball and I want to play.

‘If you saw the Barcelona B team I coached, from the first game always I try to look for that.

Sometimes it doesn’t work. But that’s because the other team is good or we are not good enough. Never [could I change]. Never in my life.

“I did have doubts a little bit in the beginning. But I was lucky because it was the B team, not like here, at a high level.

“We played one game a week. ‘You had time to think and to review from each match, from Sunday to Sunday. When you play every three days you don’t have time.

“I remember the first three games, I won, drew and lost. We played on artificial pitches in the fourth division and they were so small.

“I said: ‘We have to change because the pitch is so small’. But I arrived the next day and said: ‘No, I’m not going to change’.

“The alternative to play in a different way to my belief didn’t convince me enough. And it was so good because by the end of the season we were champions and promoted to another division.”

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