Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has admitted that Pep Guardiola has told him he has to mark players more and lose possession less, after the new manager was several times seen tearing the Argentinian off a strip in City’s opening Champions League match.
Aguero was surprised to be withdrawn eight minutes from time by Guardiola – who seemed to be criticising the player for passing instead of shooting, on one occasion in the second half, and said in his post-match press conference that he should have more confidence in the penalty box.
Aguero said: “The first half perhaps I wasn’t so happy, I lost a lot of balls but the second half was a bit better. Pep demands the same of everyone and he does the same to me, I have to help to mark, to help on the offensive side and with everything – defend and attack.”
Though Aguero has scored 50 goals in the last two Premier league seasons, topped the scoring chart in 2014/15 and came joint second in 2015/16, Guardiola did have an implied criticism of him after the 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.“I wanted to convince Sergio that his talent in the box is natural,” the manager said. “I cannot teach him that but he has to know that behind the rest of the team wants to help him and that is what I want to convince him.”
Though he has only worked with him for a few months, Aguero said: “According to my style of playing, he is one of the managers that have helped me most in my career. I’ve improved in my game near the box and scoring goals, with Pep I will get even more chances.”
He said of the start to City’s campaign: “Obviously the Champions League is not easy, but our objective is to try to get where we got last season – the semi-final. There is a process first but we have to keep going this way and hopefully we can get much further. We have great players and a great team and we can do it.”