Ilkay Gundogan says Phil Foden’s recent form is proof that Pep Guardiola should be trusted to manage and make decisions his way. Guardiola has led Manchester City to top spot in the Premier League despite a number of injuries in key areas at various points of the season, particularly in attack.
Ilkay Gundogan said: “There was also some criticism from different directions for his handling of Phil Foden. Pep publicly emphasised his qualities very early on but his game time was still relatively small at the beginning. This season, however, we see that this was exactly the right way to go. Pep was very keen on him at all times, especially in training. At the moment, Phil is playing an extremely important role in the team. He was one of our best players against Liverpool. He is getting better and better. Pep has brought him in slowly and carefully and has not let other views influence him. At the moment, we are all happy in the team to have such a top European talent in our ranks.”
Ilkay Gundogan added: “I was injured at first but then I joined a team that you thought had been playing this Pep football for years. The speed with which he can communicate his football tactically to the team is impressive. That was also the case at Bayern [Munich] back then. At the same time, it’s also this season, because he still acts with such motivation in every training session. There was always talk that Pep was only a coach for a maximum of three years – at the moment we see that these critics were wrong.”
Finally, Gundogan, 30, revealed he is looking into beginning steps to start a coaching career when his playing career ends.
Ilkay Gundogan said: “Some time ago, I asked around for some information on how the procedure would work if I were to take a trainer’s licence one day. In that sense, it’s more than just a thought. But how I would like to orient myself then, my thoughts are not yet that far. The fact is that with Pep, [Jurgen] Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, I’ve had pretty much the best coaches in club football so far. You learn a lot and think about how you can pass on this knowledge after your career.”
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