Pep Guardiola’s 2016 tactical tweak led to Raheem Sterling’s Man City coming of age – Alex Brotherton

Manchester City just seem to be getting better and better under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.

The Premier League champions sit nine points clear at the top of the table and are on course to secure their fourth league title in just five seasons.

Pep’s impact on City can be seen throughout the club, though few players have developed as much under the former Barcelona boss as Raheem Sterling.

The England international had looked set to leave City earlier in the season having fallen out of favor with Guardiola, but he’s since won back his place in the starting XI and looks as key to City’s progress as ever.

in the MEN’s latest Facebook Live, City is Ours writer Alex Brotherton was joined by Blue Moon Podcast’s David Mooney as the pair discussed Sterling’s improvements under Guardiola.

AB: “I think it’s safe to say Sterling has improved quite a decent amount since Guardiola’s arrival.

“He’s had some great seasons – last season wasn’t one of them – but then the last couple of months he seems to have found his form which might be down to Pep.”

DM: “There’s the story Henry Winter tweeted that before Pep and Sterling even met I think Sterling was having a really hard time with England at Euro 2016.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Pep Guardiola the head coach / manager of Manchester City and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on October 16, 2021 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt-AMA/Getty Images)
Sterling and Guardiola have been incredibly successful during their time together at the Etihad

“It was a really tough time and the country was just on his back throughout that tournament and has been for a long time in his career. There was a story that Guardiola just messaged him out of the blue.

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“They’d never met, they’d never had a conversation and it said something like, ‘if you work for me, I’ll fight for you’. To get that as a vote of confidence from your manager is huge. Then you look at his first season to see how Guardiola has improved Sterling – he wasn’t fantastic but he improved.

“We started to see what would happen the following season with Sterling and [Leroy] Sane and their movement as well. Sterling was a big part of that and I think Guardiola took him under his wing at that point. That’s certainly still the case. I think Sterling has been instrumental in his own development as well.

“He’s wanted to develop, move on and kick on, and you can see in the way he talks about himself.

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“You can see in the way he is on the pitch. He’s got that elite mentality, he’s got that belief in his abilities from him. I think this is very much a case of both of them working in tandem to improve.”

AB: “He’s a brilliant player to watch. I love watching him either on the left or the right. I think he’s fantastic and he’s, yeah, just a bit of a great servant to City since he joined all of seven years ago. It seems a bit crazy that he’s been around quite that long!”

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What do you think of Sterling’s City career? Follow our City Is Ours trends writer anil kandola on Twitter to join in on the conversation and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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