Even though it’s been six months since Eliaquim Mangala left Manchester City to join Valencia, the defender is still tied to his time at the Premier League side.
The 28-year-old has been interviewed by France Football this week, and instead of speaking of his season in Spain, he actually had a lot to say about Pep Guardiola.
The outlet has made many questions about their years working together at Manchester City, and the defender only had good comments to make about his former manager.
“He wants to dominate, to have ball possession, but to hurt the opponent. He always wants us to be in numerical superiority on each part of the ground until the last twenty metres. And then, he gives way to the talent of the players,” Mangala told France Football.
“He gives you principles of play, to move the opponent to find free spaces. He’s also extremely sharp on the positioning of everyone, so we have to be well placed at the time of the loss of the ball to recover it as quickly as possible. He insists on high pressing, because it keeps the opponent under pressure, and after a while it suffocates them.”
Mangala joined Manchester City in a €45m move from Porto in 2014. It was Manuel Pellegrini who was in charge of the club at the time, until Pep Guardiola’s arrival.
And he claims that in a short time with the Catalan manager, he learned way more than with the Chilean boss in charge, even though Guardiola loaned him out to Valencia pretty quickly.
“I spent a month with the team before being loaned to Valencia, and in a few weeks of training, I had learned more than in my two previous seasons at City! All his work is focused on the collective. The way he explains things to you makes you think in another way.
“When he showed us videos of matches or training, I sometimes felt like I was at university. You store incredible knowledge because he’ll always show you things. With my previous coaches, I didn’t have this tactical progression. After a few months with him, when I watched a game on TV, I saw it totally differently.”