The City coach praises his Italian colleague: “When he arrived I thought he would be great, but not so soon”
May 23 – MANCHESTER
“Pay attention to what I say, because I’m sure I’m right: Roberto De Zerbi is one of the most influential coaches of the last 20 years.” If Pep Guardiola, the most influential coach of the last 20 years, says it, it is even more inevitable to pay attention. The Manchester City manager praises the Italian who has just brought Brighton to Europe for the first time in their history in the press conference preceding the match between the two sides. The champions tomorrow at the Amex Stadium in the city on the south coast of Great Britain will be in the first act of their “Operation treble”, the one that leads to the FA Cup finals against United and the Champions League against Inter. The seagulls need a point for the certainty that the Europe they will take part in in 2023-24 will be the Europa League and not the Conference.
Guardiola spares no compliments when asked to talk about De Zerbi. “He impressed me a lot – he says of the Italian coach, who took Brighton on the run in September-. I congratulated him and the team for this incredible achievement of qualification in Europe. There’s no one in the world who plays like Brighton – they have a unique style. Ever since Roberto arrived in the Premier League, I’ve had the feeling that he would have a huge impact on the league, but I didn’t expect him to have it so soon. His team creates 20-25 chances per game, far more than their opponents. And monopolize the ball like I haven’t seen in a long time. All the players are involved, their goalkeeper plays practically as a midfielder. If you don’t play at the highest level, this team can do whatever they want against you. They deserve all the compliments and success they are getting.”
Guardiola goes even further, also confessing that Brighton is one of the teams he studies, not as the next opponent but to try to learn something. “Because they are unique, like a Michelin-starred restaurant – says Pep -. In Catalonia there was El Bulli by Ferran Adrià, for many years the best chef who completely changed the cuisine. And I think the way is just as unique and special: how he plays, how players move, how they do things. It will be an incredible challenge for us in view of the two finals, which clearly have priority ”
Pep also confesses what he studies about Brighton, the secret he tries to steal from the style brought by De Zerbi. “I study them above all to understand their timing in making decisions-he says. Brighton are masters of passing the ball to the free man, always at the right moment. To do this they have to move perfectly, and in this they are the best team in the world, the best. They don’t pass the ball before the opponent moves, but as soon as he does they pass and move back. When they do it depends on what they see on the pitch. And in understanding the right moment to move, there is no one in the world like them”.
May 23, 2023 (change May 23, 2023 | 3:33 pm)
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