English Premiership

Walker needs brains not just brawn, says Guardiola

2017-12-15 21:01
Kyle Walker (AP)

Manchester - Kyle Walker has been told by Pep Guardiola he is physically one of the best full-backs in the world, but needs to improve his football brain to maintain his form into his thirties.

The 27-year-old Manchester City full-back has enjoyed an excellent season since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in July for a fee that could rise to 52 million with performance-related bonus clauses.

Walker has played a key role as City have streaked clear of the of the Premier League field, dropping just two points in their opening 17 matches.

"Right now I'd rate him as one of the best, definitely," said Guardiola of Walker at Friday's press conference.

"He has energy. He is so strong defensively. But I'd like to help him to solve problems not just through his physicality but also through his thinking.

"When you are so strong physically, you solve all the problems that way. When you get to a certain age - 28, 29, 30 - you need to think after that more about what is going to happen.

"I always encourage him to think and after that, do it."

The City manager has revealed that he criticises his players more when they win, because he believes they will be in a better mood to take in what he is saying.

"We try not just to think that if we win, that's good, and it's enough, and if we lose, it's bad," he said.

"That, I think, is a big mistake.

"You have to develop more by talking about the bad things when you win. Because after that, the players don't believe that it's just a complaint or a regret.

"When you lose, you have to work more on their confidence, and say: That is part of the game, you can do better."

Guardiola, meanwhile, has dismissed Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho's claim City commit a lot of 'tactical fouls' to stop opponents counter-attacking.

Mourinho made his comments before last Sunday's Manchester derby, which City won 2-1 at Old Trafford.

"I never, never, never, never sent a message like that to my players," said Guardiola.

"You can ask the players, these players and the old players if my message on the pitch was to commit fouls. I don't use this kind of message."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Leicester City v Stoke City, King Power Stadium 14:30
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Swansea City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town, The Hawthorns 17:00
Burnley v Southampton, Turf Moor 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 16:05
Monday, 26 February 2018
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur, Selhurst Park 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.