Pep Guardiola is such a unique football coach with such different methods that his players struggle to adapt in the beginning. It is not different at Manchester City.
Take Kevin De Bruyne, for example. The Belgian was perhaps the most quiet of City's attacking players on Saturday's Premier League opener against Sunderland, having to play in a completely different position with different instructions compared to former coach Manuel Pellegrini. De Bruyne was not the only one playing in a different way, with full-backs Sagna and Clichy basically operating as midfielders, a tactical solution we have never seen before in English football.
But it's not just the tactics that have been changed by Guardiola. As De Bruyne reveals, Pep has also made alterations to the player's routines, including diet and exercises on matchday, and other crazy obsessions. Here's more from Kevin:
“It's taken some adjusting, but it's OK. He has his tactics. I don't really play as a number ten, more as a free eight, with a lot of movement everywhere.
“Everyone is starting to understand it. You sometimes could see someone thinking 'Where should I run?' but for a first match it was better than expected.
“The intention is to play from the back and then scroll it to me and David, so we can be five against four, but Sunderland stuck against us a bit. Still, it was OK and we had chances.
“There will come matches with more risk – this was the first match and we were all adapting.
“It's very different from last year, as with every coach – it's a different way of working, of living, and I'm feeling good.”
“[On high pressing] sometimes it's easier to put in a few seconds pressure than to go for a long sprint. It feels a little less heavy. And if you get a lot of ball possession, you can breathe a little bit some times.”
“He is strict on food. We are obliged to eat at the club in the morning and evening, but it makes it easy – less cooking for your self! At the beginning the difference will be great, but once the season gets going, it will be just as usual.
"We didn't know [the starting XI] until the afternoon of the game. In the morning we trained on set-pieces, but didn't know who would play. We trained with everyone - so many people!
“And I slept at home. I haven't done that since my time at Genk.”
Source: Manchester Evening News
Pep Guardiola is really, really different.