Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was in a combative mood at his press conference ahead of the match against Atletico Madrid.
The 51-year-old has been accused of overthinking his tactics in the Champions League in recent years; most notably in the defeat to Chelsea last season. However, Guardiola claims he will continue to utilise what he sarcastically calls “stupid tactics” to win European games:
“In the Champions League, I always overthink. Always create new tactics and new ideas and tomorrow we’ll see a new one. I overthink a lot…absolutely. That’s why I’ve had very good results in the Champions League. My job would be boring if we always played the same way against opponents who play in different ways. So if the people can believe that I’m going to approach playing Atletico Madrid and Liverpool the same, I don’t think about that. The movements from Liverpool are completely different from Atletico Madrid.”
“Especially because the players are different. Every player has a mother and a father and every mother and father have different types of personalities and different types of players. I have to adapt and adjust, that’s why I love to overthink and create stupid tactics again. Tonight I will take inspiration and I’m going to do incredible tactics, we will play with 12 tomorrow.”
It does seem as though those criticisms of Guardiola’s management have hit a nerve. It has been eleven years since he last won Europe’s top prize when he was still at Barcelona.
Successive failures at Bayern and City in the competition have led some to question his tactical choices, but Guardiola is clearly willing to stick to his guns no matter what. It will be interesting to see how he decides to line up his team when City take on Atletico at the Etihad tomorrow night.