The Argentine shot-stopper has given an insight into life at the Premier League club under the former Barcelona boss
Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero says that working under Pep Guardiola has been a “priceless” educational experience.
The Argentine was brought to Eastlands from Malaga by former City boss Manuel Pellegrini in 2014 and has witnessed the transition at the club under the guidance of Guardiola, whose attention to detail, he says, has helped him improve.
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“You can learn a lot from Pep Guardiola. From pre-season to the match itself. He has a vision of the game that is impressive,” Caballero told Goal.
“Being able to hear him speak is priceless. He explains all the strategies: why play from the goalkeeper, why the numbers are important from the start, why we sometimes play with three, four or five defenders, how to find free spaces and attack.
“His advice to me is to be more in control of the ball. For those of us who love football, his coaching is very formative.”
Unike Pellegrini’s City teams, Guardiola’s preference is for his players to play out from the back, but Caballero says that working under both coaches, learning different styles, has been fulfilling.
“Pellegrini as a coach likes the team to be in control of the ball, and go forward,” says the former Malaga shot-stopper.
“He has the forwards attack the opponents, and that’s when cracks and figures are made. We didn’t play from the back, like Guardiola likes, but we worked hard on pressing in the opponent’s half.”
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When he first came to City, Caballero had a battle with Joe Hart for the number one jersey and this season, under Guardiola, he has been competing with Claudio Bravo.
The Chile international was favoured by the former Barcelona boss until a dip in form opened the door for Caballero, who has played in the Citizens’ last three Premier League games.
“There’s almost no goalkeeper that played from beginning to end, we all have to compete with other professionals, and be patient,” admitted the 35-year-old.
Despite spending much of his time on the substitute bench at City, Caballero stressed he is enjoying his time at the club and feels satisfied to have earned his place there.
“Being able to be in such a big club is very satisfying, because it means I must have done something right,” he said. “In general, this kind of institution looks for young players with bright futures. That was not my case, I wasn’t young, so that means I must have had a good track record.
“I’ve been abroad for many years now, and I’m not on my own now, I have my family with me, and I need to think for the best for them, I don’t owe anyone, and I’m not crazy about going back right now.
“When the year finishes, and depending on what happens in City, I’ll think about what’s best for everyone.”