Nicolas Otamendi considers Pep Guardiola to be a “beast” of a boss, with the former Manchester City defender revealing that the Catalan expects his players to “evolve” themselves after being given the “tools” they need to succeed.
Those methods have delivered rich rewards down the years, with considerable success enjoyed at Barcelona and Bayern Munich before taking the reins at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.
A historic quadruple remains on the cards this season, with the in-form Blues enjoying a 19-game winning run, and Otamendi is not surprised to see a proven coach generating more positivity.
What has been said?
Asked by The Athletic to give his take on Guardiola, Otamendi has said: “A beast.
“There’s nothing better than having a coach like Pep. Honestly, I was lucky to spend those four years with him.
“It’s important to listen to every instruction Pep gives you. He’s a demanding coach. He doesn’t allow you to relax: you have to compete with the other player for your position every day.
“He improves you technically. He works on your positioning, your aggression, everything. I tried to absorb all the information Pep gave me, to learn from everything he said to me.
“If you do things the way he tells you, it’ll end up going the right way for you during a match. That’s why you have to be very open, to have your head ready to take it all in. You have to be prepared to learn.”
Otamendi, who left City for Benfica in the summer of 2020, added: “Pep gives you all the tools you need to learn, after that it’s up to you to evolve. You have to concentrate.
“Honestly, the years I spent with him were very happy ones. I learnt something every day, in every training session, from every little tip. I’m fortunate to have had a coach like him.”
The bigger picture
Guardiola has taken in 272 games as City boss, with victories secured in 199 of those fixtures.
His stint with the Blues is now the longest of his managerial career, and a contract has been committed to through to the summer of 2023.
More success is expected to be enjoyed by then, with a star-studded side looking to re-write the record books in 2021.
City have already booked a place in the Carabao Cup final, while also making their way into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and last 16 of the Champions League.
A 10-point lead has been opened up at the top of the Premier League table, with a home date against West Ham next on the agenda.