Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Pep Guardiola insists he will be judged by the same standards as his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini as he comes to the end of his first season in charge of Manchester City.
Pellegrini guided City to the League Cup, fourth place in the Premier League and the semi-finals of the Champions League last season despite being told he would be losing his job four months before the end of the campaign.
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insisted that was the bare minimum expected from the manager of the world’s wealthiest club.
There is naturally no suggestion the high-profile 46-year-old Guardiola is under any sort of pressure less than one year into the three-season deal he signed last summer.
But Guardiola claimed he will be judged by the same standards applied to Pellegrini and other managers before him, despite evidence to the contrary.
“Of course. Why not?” said Guardiola, who has never finished without a trophy of some sort in his managerial career.
“Why should it be different if the target is there and the chairman said himself.
“I am here, so in my career I won 10 titles and people said I was a disaster so I can accept that.
“But I said at the end of the season you can judge, you can go in the media and say whatever you feel.
“So you write whatever you feel about my first year in terms of titles and the way we play and many, many things.”
Guardiola has found his first season in English football more challenging than many pundits expected when he arrived in a blaze of publicity.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager insists perversely losing more games than he has been used to has helped him improve.
“No, no, I am a better manager not because it is the Premier League or English football but because I lose more than in my recent past and when you lose more games, you learn more,” he said.
“So during the part of the season when we went four or five games without winning, now you have to see how good you are. Now is the moment you have to show ourself.
“All the season I lived with that thought in my mind. So now, now is the moment.
“I was so happy, I have said many times. So what was your perspective on our team at the beginning of the season? Win all the titles? So we didn’t win, so we failed.
“So for the manager, if the chairman’s expectation is the minimum we need to do, then we miss it so we have to improve. If they believe they can do it with me, I’m here! They don’t believe it, we have to change.”
The high status Guardiola is held in world football meant that when he took over at City he was widely expected to have an immediate impact on the English game — something that has not been apparent in his first year.
But he insisted such added pressure is welcomed by him.
“Yes but it’s welcome,” said Guardiola when asked if he felt under more pressure than other first year managers.
“It was because I’m a lucky guy. All the managers and colleagues say now they want to see Pep — I’m sorry guys, I was a lucky guy, I was manager of Messi, manager of Bayern Munich, that’s why we won a lot!
“I was a lucky guy, I was there. But that’s why I came here, to prove myself. I cannot change my past.”
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