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'My head was blown off!' - De Bruyne says it is difficult to adapt to Manchester City boss Guardiola's tactics

19:17 BST 07/05/2020
Kevin De Bruyne/Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20
The Belgian midfielder says that the manager maintains a distant relationship with players while providing them with a wealth of knowledge tactically

Kevin De Bruyne says that he finds playing for Pep Guardiola to be easy, despite the sheer amount of tactics the Manchester City manager puts into place and the distant relationships he maintains with many of the club's players.

De Bruyne joined Manchester City in 2015 and has gone on to be a part of two Premier League-winning sides during his time with the club. Guardiola, meanwhile, joined from Bayern Munich in 2016, having won three Bundesliga titles with the German powerhouse before seeing his sights on England for his latest challenge.

During Guardiola's time in charge of Barcelona, the Spanish manager helped guide one of the game's all-time great teams, helping innovate the club's tiki-taka format that led to three La Liga titles and two Champions League triumphs.

Over the years, Guardiola has been lauded as a master tactician, and De Bruyne says those tactics can be a little bit overwhelming at the beginning of a player's time with the manager.

"Well, I find it quite easy," he told Los Angeles Lakers star Alex Caruso in a discussion hosted by Bleacher Report. "I don't know, I can understand sometimes he explains so much to some people when we have a meeting. In football, you have tactics, but it's not like the NFL.

"I think there's players when they come in and they have a few meetings and he explains so much in the beginning.  Like football, you don't think so much; you just do it. You know a few things that you need to do but then in the beginning, people are just wondering, 'Oh, my head is blown off'."

Guardiola has been hailed as both a master of tactics and man-management, having been able to get the best out of so many of the game's top stars during stints with three different clubs in three different countries.

While his ability to get the best out of those manager-player relationships has always been a strength, Guardiola does keep a distance from his players in order to avoid accusations of favouritism.

"I think first of all is tactical. I think player relations, sometimes it's difficult because you have 25 players, and to have a personal relationship with everybody is difficult," De Bruyne said. "On one hand, I think also because you're the boss there's always going to be a certain distance. Maybe in 10-15 years when I'm done, you're gonna have a different relationship.

"But for us, it's, it's impossible to have like a real close relationship with a coach because otherwise you're going to ask 24 other people who are saying, 'Oh yeah, you only play because, because of the coach,' and all that stuff, so that that's not possible."