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Jack Grealish and Manchester City can improve each other, says Pep Guardiola

Jack Grealish and Manchester City can improve each other, says Pep Guardiola
© Reuters
The England international played the full 90 minutes of City's Premier League defeat to Tottenham last weekend.

Pep Guardiola has spoken of his confidence that Jack Grealish and Manchester City will be good for each other.

Having joined from Aston Villa for £100million earlier this month, playmaker Grealish made his City bow by coming off the bench in the 1-0 Community Shield defeat to Leicester on August 7.

The England international then played the full duration last weekend as defending champions City opened their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a 1-0 loss at Tottenham.

City boss Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Norwich: “Everyone needs time, not just Jack. Everyone in that period needs time to do it – of course for him a little bit more, because he is new, but everyone.

“The team is going to help Jack to be who he is, and he is going to help us to be the team we want to be. All together – alone, we cannot do it.”

While Grealish has arrived, the major departure from the club this summer has been Sergio Aguero, now at Barcelona.

Guardiola, who prior to the Community Shield admitted City were interested in Tottenham’s Harry Kane, stressed on Friday that he did “not know what’s going to happen” with regard to the remainder of the transfer window.

He also said he thought Robert Lewandowski would be staying at Bayern Munich, and that he would be “more than happy” with his squad if the window was to close now.

And when asked about pundit suggestions following the Tottenham match that City would need to sign more players to improve, Guardiola said: “I don’t have any doubts.

“What they (his players) have done so far, many, many years…the main group of the people is the same. I know their mentality, I know they want to do it, and tomorrow with our people, of course we want to do it.

“Football is unpredictable, and everything can happen, and the bad periods can happen again. So we will see.

“But I am more than optimistic (from) what they have done since they arrived, and step by step we will improve.”

Guardiola also expressed his view that players “should consider” getting vaccinated against coronavirus.

Asked if all of his players had had Covid-19 vaccinations and if he was having to convince them to, Guardiola said: “Some of them. I’m not the right person to convince them.

“I think the doctors, the medical department can do it, so the players have to know that is (to) protect them, family and the rest of society. But no-one can obligate them to do it.

“I think the best way is explain to them the benefits or not benefits to being vaccinated or not, for themselves, for their families…and for the rest of the people working here and in the street. And after that, everyone is going to decide.

Guardiola says he thinks players
Guardiola says he thinks players “should consider” getting coronavirus vaccinations (Nick Potts/PA).

“But, when all the scientists, all the doctors, all the big specialists about medicine say the only solution to eradicate or help to move forward after this two years of pandemic situation is being vaccinated, I think they should consider it.”

Kevin De Bruyne (ankle) is a doubt for Saturday’s game but Ilkay Gundogan is available after a shoulder problem. Phil Foden continues his recovery from a foot injury.

Towards the end of the press conference, Guardiola spoke about the length of players’ careers – and it led on to him talking about playing golf with Tommy Fleetwood.

After saying of footballers “I can be a manager until 80 years old, they cannot play until 80 years old”, Guardiola was then asked if that was something he fancied doing.

And he said: “Absolutely not. I have to reduce my handicap! (It’s) really poor. But I will get it down for sure.

“I have Tommy Fleetwood as a good teacher, so I will get better. (I play with him) once a year. His schedule is busier than me. When its possible, we play.”

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CManchester CityMan City38296399267393
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382251169402971
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381610125757058
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham38168146051956
8Leicester CityLeicester381410146259352
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381215114244-251
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11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381310154462-1849
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17Leeds UnitedLeeds38911184279-3738
RNorwich CityNorwich3857262384-6122

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