Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance this season.
The Spaniard officially took over from treble-winning coach, Jupp Heynckes, in June and almost four months into his first campaign, the Bavarians are top of the league standings for this first time.
Coupled with an impressive start to their European Champions League title defense and the Deutscher Futball Bund e.V (DFB) Cup, the former Barcelona FC manager says he is surprised by the manner with which the players have adapted to his demands.
“To be very honest, I’m a little surprised at how quickly the players have taken on board my ideas,” he told the club’s journal Bayern Magazin. “I thought we’d need considerably more time- but we’ve already reached a very, very high level, obviously not in every match and not for 90 minutes at a stretch. But halfway through the first half of the season, my initial summary would be this: ‘I’m satisfied with what we’re doing on the field of play.’”
He believes the team stands a better chance to win titles this season by the time the injured players would have recovered fully.
Jarvi Martinez and Thiago Alcantra have been on the sideline for the champions, while Bastian Schweinsteiger has also had to struggle with injury, a reason he said had forced him to deploy Philip Lahm to a holding midfield role.
Guardiola insists his side “will even be better when all the players are fit” but warns any players who fail to buy into his ideas will be sidelined however.
“But we’ll only be in contention for trophies at the end of the season if every player in this magnificent squad accepts my decisions. If not we’ll have problems,” he intimated.
“I’m my players’ best friend if they accept my decisions- but anyone who doesn’t understand that will often find himself watching from the stands. As I keep saying: ‘we need every one of our players, which is why I’ll be happy when we have them all back.”
He hopes to have a long spell with the Bundesliga club, after disclosing that his family have always felt at home since they arrived in Munich.