PEP APPROACH A BOOST FOR CITY’S FUTURE STARS
If the big guns don’t fire, Pep won’t be scared to trust the youngsters
Before Pep Guardiola walked out to the sounds of Oasis and received a huge ovation from adoring Manchester City fans, the Catalan’s first point of call was to check in on the academy where he spoke with the club’s brightest young talent.
Those young players gathered round, listening intently before being put through their paces while Guardiola watched on attentively.
For while his immediate aim will be to deliver success, and by that we mean the Premier League title or European glory, Guardiola is a coach willing to give youth a chance.
One of the main reasons he joined City was due to the work that had been done by former Barcelona colleagues Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain.
City’s academy was overhauled on their arrival and the youth teams have flourished, impressing in European competition and reaching the last two FA Youth Cup finals.
“I came through the best academy in the world at Barcelona,” said Guardiola.
“If a young player has the ability and they show me the passion to succeed, they will be in my hands. It all depends on their quality and passion.
“For me it’s good to see young players growing and imagining that one day they can play in the first team. It’s important for the fans too because they can feel special about that player.” At Barcelona academy, players were given the chance to excel as Guardiola promoted a number from the B team.
Such was his confidence in Sergio Busquets that the immense figure of Yaya Toure was allowed to depart for City.
Of course, Barcelona had the talent ready to be promoted and time will tell if Manchester City boast the same in their youth ranks. Certainly they will know that with Guardiola at the helm they will be given a chance, something Jose Mourinho refused to do at Chelsea despite their academy dominating youth football both domestically and across Europe.
There is no doubt that the former Bayern boss will have been briefed on every player at the club, as is his meticulous nature.
“First I have to meet my players and know them. I have to hug them, kick their behinds and, after, I need time to know them,” said Guardiola.
Every player will come under scrutiny and aside from Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero, you feel there is room for improvement. It would come as little surprise if Guardiola looks within City’s ranks and finds talent worthy of a chance to impress.