The new Manchester City coach wants his players to be more careful about what they eat
As much as it is tempting to associate pizza to victory - if you think about what Claudio Ranieri has done last season with his Leicester players - it is probably not the best regime to adopt in order to win games and lift trophies. This is the idea of Pep Guardiola, who doesn't like to let chance intervene in the fate of his teams, let alone a bad physical condition. The Catalan coach, new manager of Manchester City FC, decided to ban pizzas from the Citizens' diet, in order to maintain his players as fit as possible to face the coming season in the best conditions. If Manuel Pellegrini allegedly was more lenient on this aspect of the professional footballers' lives, Guardiola doesn't share this trait and simply cut out pizzas and heavy food, according to Manchester City defender Gaël Clichy, who gave an interview to the Guardian yesterday.
The French left-back really seems to appreciate the abnégation and the rightness of the Catalan coach. "He cut out some juice and pizza and all the heavy food is not allowed” he said. “Some people think: ‘That’s normal, it should be like this.’ But in truth it’s not always like this and I know because I’ve been playing football for a long time. It’s really refreshing and very exciting." The diet in itself is not the only thing Guardiola is being very meticulous with: he also doesn't want any overweight player training with the squad. Clichy continued: "On the field, outside the field, every detail counts. For example, you often hear managers say being healthy is really important. With him, if you’re weight is too high, you’re not training with the team. That is the first thing and you can hear it a lot, but for my part it’s the first time any manager has really done it. So we have a few players who are not training with the team yet."
What Guardiola says, he does. And his strictness with people's weight is not the only thing about Guardiola that has amazed Gaël Clichy in his first weeks of work since the Catalan took office. "He’s an ideal manager for any kind of player. The goalkeeper needs to be better with their feet, the centre-backs are improving, the full-backs are important, the centre midfield", the Frenchman explained. "He’s the kind of guy that, if you’re lucky to work with him during your career, he is someone you will remember for a long time because he’s truly impressive", he added. This new management has been a change that maybe some players needed inside Manchester City's dressing room, and a very expected one since the arrival of Guardiola was announced in early February. That explained, partly, the performance drop of the squad at that time.
"It’s normal" Clichy argued. "For example, if you’re working and in two weeks you’re going to Hawaii for a month’s holiday or a honeymoon, you will have to think about this. Even if you know the present moment is important, you cannot just block this." Guardiola has started his reconstruction work and will face his first true test against Borussia Dortmund since the big clash against Mourinho's Manchester United was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. In the meantime, no more pizzas.