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17.06.2008 14:33

Guardiola outlines his ideas

Vanessa Forns

As he was presented as manager of the first team, Josep Guardiola explained the outlines of the way he intends to work. He said it all came down “at the end of the day, to only thing that matters.” And that thing is winning.

“The players can be forgiven for not getting it right in every game, but not for failing to make an effort”. That is how the new Barça manager views the implication he will be demanding of every one of his players. In managing his squad, Guardiola believes in “the strength of the word”, although he also added that “that alone is not enough”.

So he will be applying a series of rules to everyday life at the club. It is his intention for the players “to absolutely observe and understand these rules, because that is the most simple and natural way of doing things.” In his relations with his players, Guardiola made it clear that they have to understand that “one person alone is worth nothing; it is along with their colleagues that they mean so much more”.

Playing style

presentacix_guardiola.jpgSo how will Barça 2008/09 play? The new manager said “at the end of the day the only that matters is winning. I want to convince the squad of my ideas, and they need to understand that that is the way ahead. We have to go out and find and create the game. I plan each game by thinking about what I can do to hurt the opposition. We will attack more and defend better. The strikers have defensive responsibilities and the defenders have to help out in attack. The team has to run and make an effort”.

Ins and outs

The club is currently working on a new squad for next season, and, Guardiola made it clear that “in principle none of Ronaldinho, Deco or Eto’o are on our minds. We will be building a squad without them … but if they end up staying with us, I will give them a lifeline to get back to their best level”. However, he did confirm that Rafa Márquez does come into his plans.

After a striker and a wide man

presentacix_guardiola_x14x.jpgGuardiola said he is after a centre forward “that is very good and who can complement Henry and Bojan”. He said he wants to find somebody of similar qualities to the strikers he already has and that “they have to be very ambitious. Whoever comes will be somebody I consider perfect, and I won't be complaining because I have a cracking squad".

Guardiola also confirmed that “we are looking into the possibility of signing a wide player, or not. One would be plenty. In principle, we will play with three up front and with midfielders that will be moving forwards”.

The pre-season

Guardiola described pre-seasons as being “what they are” and that “the club has to make money”. So he is aware that the “the tour is about presenting a good image, but that is no excuse for what we might do over the pre-season”. He was asked if he might consider taking some of the reserve squad with him, and said that he would, maybe five, six, or seven, but he was not yet sure which players those would be.

Messi in responsible role

But what Guardiola is less happy about is the idea of Messi leading the team. “It would be wrong for him to be charged with such a burden of responsibility. He has to feel that, as well as scoring goals, he is also happy that we have not let any in either”.

Pre-season and Olympic Games

presentacix_guardiola_x8x.jpgLionel Messi is likely to miss the Barça pre-season because of the Olympic Games, which may also be the case with Alves if he signs. Guardiola commented that “Barça has to let its players go. If the Argentine or Brazilian federations make their request, we have to accept. And if they have to go, I hope they come back as quick as possible because we don’t have much time and we have a lot of hard work to do”.
Guardiola outlines his ideas

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Media relations
Guardiola is aware of the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the media, who follow every day at the club with watchful eyes. He said he wished to establish a set of rules, some of which have already been proposed, because it is important “to be able to work as calmly as possible … on days before and after games we will train behind closed doors”.

He also indicated that the first team will train “both in the Miniestadi and the Camp Nou”, but not at the Ciutat Esportiva “because it does not have the right facilities for dealing with the media”.

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