Connect with us


Rodri explains how players adapt to Pep Guardiola’s style of football following Kalvin Phillips struggles



| Last Updated:


Manchester City’s midfield mainstay Rodri has explained exactly how he and other players adapt to Pep Guardiola’s style of football.

There is a common feeling within the game that players joining the reigning Premier League champions should be allowed at least one season in order to settle into the demands of Pep Guardiola and his rigorous tactical instructions.

Several players over the years have been seen to have taken their time to get to grips with the Catalan coach’s tactical instructions, including some of the squad’s best present day talents such as Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish.

Another name who certainly took their time to understand the demands of his role by Pep Guardiola is defensive midfield mainstay Rodri, who is now widely regarded as being the best operator in his position in world football.

Speaking during a new interview with The Guardian’s Sid Lowe, the Manchester City defensive midfield star has explained how he and other players adapt to the stylistic demands of a Pep Guardiola system, reflecting on his own personal experiences under the Catalan tactician.

“When a player tries to adapt to Pep (Guardiola)’s football, to a new environment, he needs information, to see things, repeat them, go over them, learn,” the 28-year-old explained whilst away on international duty with Spain.

“He’s a coach that requires your attention, understanding. As a midfielder, you don’t so much need to learn the practical work, although it’s always useful, receiving, passing,” he continued. “In theory, you already have that.

“What you don’t have is the ‘where does the pass go?’ The decision. So you talk. Pep has been a pivot so it’s simpler, more direct. Videos, too.”

Commenting further on Pep Guardiola’s style of play within the English game, Rodri continued by explaining how it has different demands compared to how that style would be played back in the Spanish top-flight.

“Playing his football within English football has special demands. I had to adapt to a football that was more dynamic, more physical, faster,” Rodri told The Guardian. “And within that to Pep’s football, which I was not used to. I came from another style.

“Although at Villarreal I played (something similar), it was not so tactical, not so sophisticated. The two things were a challenge.”

Rodri’s words will likely serve as a message to the likes of Kalvin Phillips, whose time at the Etihad Stadium is expected to come to an end this summer having struggled to develop his game to the standard required by his coach.

With very limited game time and opportunities in top-level competition, the England international is likely to be sanctioned to exit the club via either a permanent or temporary agreement in the coming weeks.

That will mean Manchester City will have to scour the market for a replacement in terms of back-up to Rodri, but could turn to a player that Pep Guardiola knows can fit his tactical demands almost immediately, such as former Bayern Munich colleague Joshua Kimmich.