Champions League

Pep's perspective

Ahead of Bayern Munich's trip to Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves was granted a unique opportunity to find out what makes Pep Guardiola tick. The Spanish tactician was as engaging as ever as he discussed some of his key philosophies...

When Geoff met Pep


"I am a trainer of a big club and you have to pay respect to our history and try to play as well as possible for our fans. I think big clubs must adhere to being offensive. No matter the style, the idea is try to dominate the game, to play as well as possible. That's all, it's simple."


"Possession is important when you create chances. Possession for itself is nothing. We try to have the possession in front (of the opposition). Sometimes you have big, big possession but don't create chances and just defend and defend. That is not football. You try to have possession because when you have the ball it is impossible for the opposition to score a goal. When you have a high per cent of possession you have to be organised for when you lose the ball against big counter-attacks. I repeat, possession for itself is nothing."


"He's one of the few intellectuals I have come across in a dressing room, intellectual in the sense he thinks about a lot of things. A lot about football, of course, but also about literature and other cultural things."

Fabio Capello

Quotes of the week

"I am a trainer sitting in the bank (dugout), when the ball is far away from our box I am happy, I am calm. When the ball is closer to my box, now I am trembling. That's why I like the ball as far away from my own goal as possible. I like to play with a high speed. To change the rhythm you need to play with a huge, huge, huge speed. When you have that huge, huge, huge speed then it's possible that you can change the rhythm. You have to be aggressive without the ball and with it, we like to play quickly. At the right moment, with the right players, you can change the rhythm. It's possible."


"I need intelligent players to know that when a player changes position, another can use that position. I like it more when the ball goes to the position more than the players move a lot. Maybe in the future the players can understand better what we are looking for. In the natural way they can change. In the beginning it's better for the players to stay in the positions and the ball is moved as quickly as possible when the players are there."


"We've played five, six, seven games at a huge, huge level over six or seven months. Regularly we play okay for three minutes, 20 minutes, but not consistently. That's normal. We change little things and ideas, and I need time. During the process it's important to win because you get more time to work. When you don't win, you know it's more difficult to change quickly. It's happening in the Bundesliga where we are winning most things. We are in a good position, but I'm still in a period where I'm getting to know the players, and the players me. I feel we are still in a process of getting better."