English Premiership

Not winning title not a disaster - Guardiola

2017-01-02 08:13
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

London - Pep Guardiola does not believe his first season as Manchester City manager should be classed as a failure if he cannot guide the team to Premier League glory.

Guardiola won the league in his first seasons at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but his City side lie 10 points below leaders Chelsea and in fifth place after Saturday's 1-0 loss at Liverpool.

He does not see winning the league as the be-all and end-all of City's season, however, and says he is relishing the new challenge of being the hunter rather than the hunted.

"We have put a lot of stress about, 'Oh, if you don't win the Premier League, that is going to be not a good season'," he told reporters after the New Year's Eve defeat at Anfield.

"No, in that situation we're going to analyse what happened at the end of the season, what was good, what was bad. Now it's just focus on the next game against Burnley.

"I was always on top, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. But OK, this is a new chapter in my career as a manager to handle that and I am willing to try it with these guys."

Chelsea have surged clear at the summit on the back of a 13-game winning streak, but Guardiola does not believe their points advantage is insurmountable.

"I was one time nine points (behind) with Barcelona, against Real Madrid I think," said the Catalan, whose side host Burnley on Monday.

"It was in February or in March and after we recover until (the gap was only) four (when Madrid won the league in 2012).

"But the question is, are we able to take the gap to Chelsea? Now what we have to do is believe in the next game."

In contrast to his early experiences with Barcelona and Bayern, Guardiola is yet to have a transformative effect on City's fortunes.

City's style of play has evolved, reflecting the importance Guardiola places on dominating possession, but they have lost four times already in the league and have struggled defensively.

Jurgen Klopp, Guardiola's former Borussia Dortmund adversary, has had over a year to remould Liverpool and the City manager said it would take him time to achieve similar results.

"I don't know, I'm not able to say that," Guardiola replied when asked how long it will take for City to become his team.

"Jurgen is here more than one season, one year. It's just five months for me. The way we want to play in this league is not that simple.

"We need a little bit more time. But I'm a guy who's so optimistic and we are going to try."

City's attempt to chase down Chelsea will be bolstered by the arrival of Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus following his $33 million transfer from Palmeiras.

The 19-year-old was due to arrive in Manchester this weekend and Guardiola expects him to make a swift impact.

"He was three years without holidays, he's fit, he's young," said Guardiola.

"It was just two or three weeks not training so I don't think we'll be (waiting) too much time (for him) to be fit."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea, The American Express Community Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v Huddersfield Town, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Leicester City v Watford, King Power Stadium 17:00
West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth, London Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Manchester United, Turf Moor 17:00
Manchester City v Newcastle United, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
Monday, 22 January 2018
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.