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Manchester City future, summer transfers, Ederson importance – Every Word from part two of Pep Guardiola’s pre-West Ham press conference



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Pep Guardiola has offered his final thoughts ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League finale against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester City and their players know that one win is required in order to accomplish a never-before-achieved feat in English football; claiming the Premier League title in four successive seasons.

City have found themselves on a remarkable run of form since mid-December and largely the turn of the year, following inconsistencies in their performances during the first-half of the season and long absences of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.

However, victory over Fulham and Tottenham in their last two Premier League matches in particular now leaves the destiny of the top-flight title race firmly in the hands of Manchester City heading into the final contest of the season.

Pep Guardiola has already warned fans and players alike at Manchester City that the final game will be nothing routine, issuing comparisons with the dramatic final day of 2021/22 and the 3-2 victory over Aston Villa.

The Birmingham club found themselves in a remarkable 0-2 lead at the Etihad Stadium, before goals from Rodri and an Ilkay Gundogan brace turned the match around with 10 minutes remaining to secure the league crown.

Speaking to the media during the embargoed section of his pre-match media duties, Pep Guardiola discussed his Manchester City future, the possibility of summer transfers and changes, as well as the importance of Ederson during his time at the club to date.

Here is every single word from part two of Pep Guardiola’s pre-West Ham press conference!

On whether he will be back for more as Manchester City manager next season

“Yeah, I have a contract. I want to be here next season, yes or yes.”

On the narrative of while Pep Guardiola is here, nobody has a chance

“It’s wrong. The margins in every season, if we win by 20 points, I would say yes, I am a genius, I’m so good. But it’s not. The Premier Leagues we won against Liverpool, they could have won. They can win Arsenal, we can win, it’s like that (tiny margins).

“My judgement about the team, about how we behave, nothing changed. My opinion against Liverpool in these years, nothing changed or the fact that they win or don’t win, nothing changed. I know here just prize the winners and the winners smell good, and everyone wants to copy, and everything, but it’s not.

“It’s not the case because behind of arriving here in the last press conference of the season, before the last game of the Premier League, there are a lot of work behind, a lot, like Liverpool was, and Arsenal has been this season. There is a lot work.

“It’s nothing to do with what we have done in the past gives you already, it’s completely the opposite. There are a lot of work for all departments, how many in my backroom staff, medical departments, physio departments, how they care all the seasons, every single, few, few injuries. Injuries are always there, but the balance is ridiculous how good it is.

“And that is because there is a lot of work to take care of the players, and the people every single day, hours and hours, being above the players, ‘You have to do this, you have to do this, you have to do this to be fit’. Otherwise, you cannot be where we are.”

On the importance of players who have been at Manchester City for a lot of his journey at the club

“Yeah, of course. I said many times, without these huge personalities that you name and other ones, there’s no chance. Behind the success, arriving in these stages every single season, there are a lot of factors, a lot. It’s not just one person, there are a lot of factors being involved, a lot.

“That people don’t know, it’s behind-the-scenes, and the people know, the hierarchy, the plan, the consistency with the same idea with the same manager, with the top quality players, a lot of top quality human beings. The group of this season is difficult to find, to replace, the quality of the human beings, how they respect.

“I saw when Erling Haaland scored the first goal against Spurs, the celebration from Julian (Alvarez) and Jack Grealish, how they hug eachother on the touchline. They were warming up, how they hugged. You have to build that in every single days between them, we have incredible captains, incredible relations.

“When they have bad moments, they solve it, they talk to each other, they solve it, the conflicts. We’ve had conflicts this season, between them, between me, them, it’s normal. How they solve it, this is the key. Because to make our routine every day better and better.

“But, they know it. I know today in my meeting they will be so focussed. I know in training they will be so focussed. Because they know, everybody knows, what we are playing for. It’s something like we are not going to live it again. None of us. It’s impossible.

“The chance to win four in a row? Any of us, in our lives, it’s not going to happen again. And they have to live it, enjoy it, think what you have have to do during 95, 96, 97 minutes. The game against Aston Villa – do you know who changed the game? (Oleksandr) Zinchenko.

“Alex changed that game. First-half was not good, half-time he arrived there, he changed the game. In the first goal, how he came, Raheem Sterling. The action for the first goal was from Raheem. Two players from the bench. So everybody is going to do his part.”

On Phil Foden’s journey and where it could take him

“Obviously he made a step forward as a football player, in terms of minutes, in terms of being decisive in winning games. Maybe before it was a glimpse of action, but now it’s consistent. This is the truth. But still he has a margin (to improve). Sometimes his game is overexcited, and you have to be more calm, because his excitement he has for himself. But it’s a question of time. But this season has been really, really important.”

On Phil Foden’s football intellect

“Yeah, he’s moving forward but I have the feeling that he can be better. And I think he can do it, because I said many times, he loves football. He enjoys to be on the pitch, and I think I have the feeling that he doesn’t like when he has a day off. He likes to be in the training session, and I have the feeling that still he can be better.”

On whether he knew of Stefan Ortega prior to being told about by Manchester City’s recruitment/goalkeeping department in 2022

“No, no. It was my goalkeeper department. It’s what I said; people talk about the incredible save from (Stefan Ortega), because it is, how many times. But Eddie has done it before, with (Heung-min) Son I think in the same action, and he saved it.

“The Champions League; do you know the reason why we won the Champions League last season? It was Ederson. In Madrid he saved an incredible with 1-0 down, or 1-1 I don’t remember perfectly, he made an incredible save from a header from (Karim) Benzema.

“And the final of the Champions League, he was the key player. The key to win. So we cannot define the period without Eddie, it’s impossible. But of course, we have today a strange season for Eddie. It’s four times with setbacks, four times injured, a keeper four times?! With incredible knocks! I’ve never seen that.

“And today in modern football, you have to have two, two, proper, proper, keepers. Before it was clear between the first keeper and the second one. The distance was so big. And of course, everybody knows, the team knows, and both knows it that Ederson is the first keeper, but the distance is not (much) because you need it.

“It’s a lot of games, it happens injuries, and you have to have a second good, good keeper like you have four central defenders top class, you have to have two or three very, very good keepers. Otherwise, when the distance is too big, the team cannot compete.”

On having someone to thank for identifying Stefan Ortega

“It’s Xabi Mancisidor. What happened in the past, we needed that, and he introduced like always, two or three keepers, and he said, ‘I think this is the man’. OK, let’s go! I’m not an expert about the keepers, so that’s why you have a trainer for that. And he said, ‘OK’, and as always, Xabi has a good eye and he did it really well.”

On whether the Manchester City squad could stay together this summer and go again, or whether some may look for another challenge

“Next season? I don’t know next season. I don’t know. We have to see how we finish. Sometimes the decisions, it depends how we are going to finish the season. The players have done a good season already, nothing is going to change how was the season, or whether it depends on the last two games of the season. Nothing is going to change, but we have to wait.

“Now I’m not thinking one second about what is going to happen next season, because it’s what I said, it’s West Ham and all the four players they have up front, for themselves can create something unexpected.

“Kudus is an exceptional player. Bowen for many years, I remember Salah, Bowen many, many actions he does. And Antonio you know, Antonio when he’s fit is unbelievable. And Paqueta is a top class player in terms of can do many, many things. So that’s why, all four from nothing can do something unique, special. And this is the only thing I am concerned right now, next season will be next season.”

On whether Manchester City’s players will get days off if they win the Premier League title

“No, I don’t… What a question! Absolutely I am not going to answer it. After the game, ask me whatever you want. But it’s not the time to answer this.”