Pep Guardiola believes all managers are in a “weak” position and that despite success with Manchester City, and previously at Bayern Munich and Barcelona, he cannot survive on reputation alone.
Guardiola’s side host José Mourinho’s Tottenham on Saturday hoping to make it 16 consecutive victories in all competitions and a 23rd unbeaten match. Mourinho began his managerial career in 2000, eight years before Guardiola. After City’s manager was reminded of this and how Mourinho’s last title win came in 2015, he was asked whether managers have a limited time at the top and how difficult it is to keep players and ideas fresh.
“Every manager is different,” he said. “We don’t have time – you have to win and get results, and convince the players it’s the best way. Results help you to convince them much easier. It’s a process you have to prove every day.
“I understood from the beginning it’s not a job you can stop because you won yesterday. There is pressure every day on the manager’s shoulders; we are in a weak position. That’s why it’s fascinating: it would be boring to say I’m [happy] for the way I’ve done it, the titles we won two years ago. You have to be scared to lose, [understand] warnings. It’s the only way to survive in this business – to prove yourself and show again and again you are able to stay. If not you will be relegated [sacked] for sure.”
Guardiola is happy that his and Mourinho’s hostile relationship has eased, stating he did not enjoy the “limelight” when they were at loggerheads. One flashpoint was Mourinho celebrating Internazionale knocking out Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals in May 2010 by sprinting across the Camp Nou turf. Another occurred after the Portuguese took charge of Real that summer and poked a finger in the eye of Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova when his side lost 3-2 to Barça in the Spanish Super Cup.
Guardiola was asked whether relations had improved when Mourinho took charge of Manchester United in the summer of 2016. “Absolutely. I prefer this, I don’t like being in the limelight,” he said. “I [would prefer] doing my job, training sessions without any press conference. I’m a manager not to come out and speak about something bad about the other managers, clubs.”