After discussing transfer plans, Joe Hart and Champions League football, Pep Guardiola was finally able to talk about the next Manchester City match, a key Premier League encounter with West Ham United at Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola is unbeaten as City coach, having won all four official matches by a combined score of 11-2, playing great football for these early days of the Pep Style and surprising everyone in England with his tactics.
Pep will look to continue the momentum and evolution of his City side with a difficult game against the Hammers, who beat City at the Etihad last season and are even more dangerous having spent more time under excelent coach Slaven Bilic. A player that might have had a chance to make his debut on Sunday is new signing Claudio Bravo, but Chilean goalkeeper will have to wait a while before playing his first match for the Sky Blues.
“He’s fit but he’s not going to play this weekend. He’s a goalkeeper with a lot of experience in Spain and in the national team.
“He played in important games to create something special for Chile. He’s good in the build-up plays and quick off his line. He’s a good player for us.”
Bravo is being targeted for the Manchester Derby after the international break, as Guardiola wants to work a few days with his new signing before putting him on the pitch.
Back to West Ham and the team news, and Guardiola is very happy to reports there are no new injuries:
“No injuries from midweek. Kelechi was almost nothing so it was a scare but he’s fine. Everybody’s fit and ready - we trained with 30 players today."
Finally, Guardiola spoke about Aleksandar Kolarov, perhaps the biggest positive surprise from Pep's first few weeks at City. Once deemed not good enough for Pep, the left-back started to play in the middle of defense, and his partnership with John Stones has been impressive so far.
Guardiola praised Kolarov, and even he seems surprised with how good a center-back Aleks has turned out to be:
“I know he’s a left-back but how he played against Sunderland and against Steaua at home, as a central defender it’s difficult to find a better one than him.
“He’s strong in the air, his passes through the lines in the build-up, his long passes to the right wingers… he has everything to play in that position.
“After three, four days together I asked Mikel and Rodolfo, I asked if they think if he can play there - it’s hard to find a centre back who can play with his left foot.
“We agreed and we’re convinced he has the ability to do that. He can do everything and he’s a great professional - we’re happy to have another option to play in that position.”