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Kevin De Bruyne Lifts the Lid on Pep Guardiola’s Preparation Challenges in England

Premier League teams could be approaching City differently than other opponents, but De Bruyne says Guardiola is ready to adapt.

Manchester City Training Session Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne has opened up about his Manchester City manager’s intense preparation methods and how opponents have approached City, saying, “What Pep is mostly surprised about is that there are still a lot of teams playing with long balls. He sometimes thinks the teams will try to play football because they do that against other teams.

“He puts so much time and energy into looking for things, where spaces might be, but then the opponent uses the long ball. I think he must sometimes think ‘why am I doing all this work’.”

While acknowledging that Pep Guardiola might be annoyed at times as teams avoid the midfield, De Bruyne said, “He’s not searching, but changing. The problem is that a lot of teams are playing very defensively against us, so we have to try to find a solution.”

After Chelsea and Leicester City picked the Sky Blues apart with lightning fast counter attacks, Guardiola has admitted that City training sessions have focused heavily on stronger defending in recent weeks.

The Belgian midfielder also commented on the mundane nature of many fixtures since Pep’s arrival, “Sometimes it’s not so much fun to watch and for us it’s not so much fun to play, because that’s not our football, but we have to cope with it.”

Then, he spoke optimistically about his long-term plans. “The intention now is to start a long project. There’s no need to move again in the near future.”

Even if City don’t have the history of other clubs, De Bruyne is ready to solidify the Sky Blues' reputation in top-tier football. There’s no doubt he and his co-stars will be working closely with Guardiola to unlock English and European competition.