Pep Guardiola says the ‘focus’ has returned to his Manchester City squad

There might be a media storm surrounding the club at the moment, but Pep insists they eyes are well and truly back on the ball.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 15th February 2023

Pep Guardiola has said he believes that the “focus” has returned to his Manchester City squad after some inconsistent performances following the World Cup.

Whilst it’s worth keeping in mind that City are still flying high in the Prem, sitting in second behind league leaders Arsenal — who they could go level with should they beat them at the Emirates tonight — the Blues haven’t been quite as dominant a force of late as they have been in the past few seasons.

Speaking in the embargoed press conference ahead of their important title clash on Tuesday, Guardiola says that while he recognises there may have been the odd blip with the likes of United, Southampton in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and most recently Spurs, they are now looking back on track.

“I would say the mentality is there”, he said. “We are second in the table, in the FA Cup, in the Champions League again. We didn’t drop much… After what we have done, I don’t have the feeling that everything was a mess. We are close and in moments we are doing really really well.”

The 52-year-old did go on to hint that maybe an element of complacency had set having already amassed nearly half a century of points in the first half of the season, but that it is also the comparison to their success over the past five seasons that has somewhat coloured this recent run of form.


“I understand the standards are so high when you compare with the past and sometimes you don’t do as well and you have to reflect on what is not going well. You accept it. We are just in February, there are a lot of games still to play.”

He also went on to argue that “they are more focused, all of them, remarking that in the past: “when we talk, sometimes you’d see distracted faces but my feeling is that everyone is more focused”.


The suggestion that members of the squad were ‘distracted’ was only further compounded by the departure of versatile wing-back João Cancelo, who left the club after it was reported he would often turn up late and failed to pay attention in team meetings.

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While Pep conceded, “Maybe it’s my fault [the focus dropped], maybe I should be more active and present but this is my feeling”, he did argue: “what I have felt is I said to them that is enough. It is not a guarantee of success but without that it is impossible.”

Though he admitted nothing can guarantee their success in the three competitions they remain in this season, he insists that as well as the focus being restored, there is a ‘rhythm and a ‘feeling’ within the squad again.


If this is how well they perform even when they’re ‘off it’ — second place, three points off the top and a goal difference of +34 — then Arsenal will no doubt have to be looking over their shoulder more than they already are.

As alluded to, City can go level on points with the resurgent North London side if they win tonight, but Mikel Arteta’s men still have a game in hand on the reigning champions. FFP scandal aside, the Blues will be looking to keep the pressure on.

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Featured Image — Manchester City (via Twitter)