Ferdinand: Guardiola gives players great education

12 Aug 2016
pep kdb.jpg

BT Sport pundit praises Man City head coach ahead of season opener against Sunderland

Rio Ferdinand and David James expect “tactical genius” Pep Guardiola to get the best out of his Manchester City squad ahead of his Premier League bow against Sunderland.

Guardiola won six league titles during seven seasons as head coach at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, before moving to two-time Premier League champions Man City.

Ferdinand, a pundit for BT Sport pundit who is showing Saturday's match, played for Manchester United against Guardiola’s Barcelona in the 2009 and 2011 UEFA Champions League finals, and is impressed by the man.

“He’s a man who’s invested in detail, he leaves no stone unturned," Ferdinand said. "He gets his players to understand exactly what he wants and that’s part of it.

“He’s not only a manager but he gives the players a great education, a rounded education on football, and he improves players as individuals and as a team, so he’s a great talent as a manager.

BT Sport's matchday team, including Ferdinand, James and Jenas
The BT Sport team for the 2016/17 Premier League

“His game’s always based on possession. It starts from the goalkeeper, being the person who starts all the attacks, and it goes throughout the team. His biggest challenge is to get the players to understand his philosophy and produce it on the pitch.”

James, who made 572 Premier League appearances as a goalkeeper, added: “With Pep, you’re expecting this tactical genius to get the best out of this highly talented group of players.

“Pep seems very relaxed and very happy with what he’s got at Manchester City.”

Sunderland, who appointed David Moyes as manager after Sam Allardyce took charge of England.

David Moyes appointed Sunderland manager
David Moyes after taking over as Sunderland manager on a four-year deal

Sunderland appointed David Moyes as manager after Sam Allardyce took charge of England and Jermaine Jenas says the Scot, who managed 461 matches with Everton and Man Utd, has backed him to build on the squad’s success.

"I know Jermain Defoe very well and last year he was very happy and the players were very happy, so it is just about how good a job David Moyes can do in building on that," Jenas, a BT Sport pundit, said. "I’m sure, given time, he will do well.

“Moyes is a good appointment. He has been wanting to get back into the Premier League and he’s going to relish the opportunity of being back.

“Sunderland are a huge club. Once you play at the Stadium of Light you get the sense that you are at a good club. He will be privileged to be there and to make them stay there in the Premier League.”

BT Sport is the only place to watch all four major football competitions in one place, with exclusively live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup.

Watch Manchester City v Sunderland exclusively live on BT Sport 1 from 5pm on Saturday August 13. For more information visit


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