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Montoya's Guardiola Insight

28 September 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Martin Montoya gave an insight into Pep Guardiola's possession-based tactics, ahead of Saturday's Premier League fixture against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Montoya explained how the Spaniard's teams aggressively try to win back possession, a trend that the City boss has replicated at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now at the reigning Premier League champions.
He said, "Guardiola teams play from the back, spend the whole game with the ball and, when they don’t have it, press very hard for five seconds to get it back. That’s what he always says, 'five seconds'.
“His style of play is the same now as it was at Barca – play from the goalkeeper to an open defence. They want to play a lot and they have the players to do it.
“But you can hurt a team like that on the counter-attack because the team is wide open, and the full-backs are well forward.
“If one of City’s opponents has 50 per cent of possession, then that can make them uncomfortable because they aren’t used to it.
“It’s very important to have possession of the ball, but it’s going to be very difficult.”
The Spaniard reflected on his first few games in the Premier League overall, and highlighted the Tottenham game as one where he learned the most about English football.
“One match which struck me was the one against Tottenham. We were 2-0 down and in the space of five minutes, we had enough chances to draw the match.
“That’s what the Premier League is all about.  It’s very quick, with lots of strength and speed and anything can happen.”
The former Barcelona defender also spoke about how he is settling into life off the pitch, following the arrival of his wife and two children.
“They arrived after the international break. I went to see them in Barcelona and came back with them.
“My eldest is already at school, and we are bit by bit getting used to the language, but the kids are like sponges, they will get it quickly.
“I’m understanding more. Speaking is harder but, if people speak slowly, I understand quite a lot.” 

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