Tue 20 September 2022 | 17:04

De Zerbi: Guardiola called me; Pep is an unreachable coach

Roberto De Zerbi has said that Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, called him to offer his congratulations and guide him on his new role in the Premier League at Brighton.

Manager of Manchester City,

Pep Guardiola

, called

Roberto De Zerbi

to congratulate him on his new position at


in the Premier League and offer some words of wisdom. De Zerbi also noted "similarities" between his new team and



Brighton had gotten off to a great start this season, and they are presently fourth in the Premier League. However, after Graham Potter was hired away by Chelsea to replace Thomas Tuchel, Brighton needed a new manager.

After the invasion of Ukraine cut short their season, they signed De Zerbi, a former coach for Sassuolo, Benevento, and

Shakhtar Donetsk

“I’m very happy to be here; I’m very proud to be the new head coach. I want to thank the club, I am studying every single player and hope to speak English by January,” said the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss."

“Brighton was a team that really wanted me, has a style of football very similar to the one I have in mind. I had other options, but as soon as Brighton called, I was convinced that I could continue the direction they were already on. We got along well straight away.”

Fans of Brighton should expect the same style of play praised by De Zerbi and

Manchester City

's manager Guardiola. 

“For me, working at Brighton is made easier by what Potter did before me. There are many players with characteristics suited to my idea of football, they also have the kind of mentality and courage in pressing that I like to see. Clearly, I am taking on a team that is fourth in the table, but that is just further motivation for me."

“As for Guardiola’s football, I think Pep is an unreachable coach, because he proved it in England, Germany and Spain. Guardiola has contacted me, he’s very happy and spoke highly of this club, said he’s always ready to help me if I should need anything – except for the game we play against each other!

“In my view, improving the players from last season and to finish in the top 10 would be the idea. We have many talented players; I watched many of their recent games, studied all the players individually. The team knows what to do on the pitch, they have a very clear identity. Perfection does not exist in football, there is always something to improve."

“It is also one thing to see them on television and another to train them. I have something new to bring in mind, without transforming anything, but my objective is to keep improving.”

After Chelsea swooped in and signed Potter, the club's upper management acknowledged that De Zerbi was their first and only choice for the post. 

“This is a big challenge for me in the biggest league in the world, it makes me proud to be at a club that hasn’t been in the Premier League for a long time, but already has clear ideas. I come here with humility, but also with my character, to do what I am capable of, bringing with me my experiences, what I know and ready to learn as well. I think there are talented players here and we can work well here.”

Under de Zerbi, Sassuolo finished in eighth place twice and came within one goal of catching Roma in the Conference League. The Neroverdi are like Brighton and Hove Albion in that they're a little club with a big budget and a lot of smart people running it.

“I do see similarities, also in terms of the players, the mentality of the club and owner, in the attitude of the players too. Clearly, the Premier League and Serie A are different, but as clubs they are similar. The decision to go to Ukraine was a bit unusual, leaving Serie A for Shakhtar, but I wanted that for the club, the players they had and the chance to participate in the Champions League."

“Naturally, the last thing I expected was the epilogue to that experience in February. It was bad because of the war, but also because I had to leave a team that was just starting to find its shape. I bring that experience with me, I bring with me the dignity of the people of Ukraine and the people I worked with.”

Andrea Maldera, formerly of Milan, has joined De Zerbi's staff at Brighton. Maldera served as assistant manager for the Ukraine national team under

Andriy Shevchenko


source: SportMob

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