Former Manchester City star Bacary Sagna says Pep Guardiola ‘deserves so much credit’ for the winning environment he has created at the club.
Speaking to Genting Casino on a range of different topics, the French full-back was reflecting on the short time he worked under the Catalan in the 2016/17 season.
The now-retired defender made 267 appearances in the Premier League for City and Arsenal, winning two major trophies — including the League Cup in 2016.
In Guardiola’s maiden season, Sagna was one of the manager’s main options at right-back, with the veteran often rotating with Pablo Zabaleta throughout the campaign. Despite spending such a short time together, Sagna says Guardiola ‘deserves so much credit’ for the ‘intense’ winning culture he’s created at the club.
He said: “Pep deserves so much credit. He creates an environment where the players have to be perfect professionals; you have to be on time, you have to eat and rest well, the players have to be really focussed on their football. It is intense.”
Reflecting on the moment Guardiola walked through the door at City, Sagna admitted the players knew he would be snapping at their heals to make sure they could perform at the absolute optimum levels required to win the major trophies.
Bacary Sagna says working under Pep Guardiola was ‘intense’
“From the minute the pre-season starts, you have to be fully committed and Pep puts every single player under this pressure – it doesn’t matter who you are.”
Sagna continued, “If you deserve to play, you will play and if you don’t deserve to play, you will be on the bench. It’s good to have this pressure. The players know that they have to rest well, eat well and recover well otherwise Pep will be coming for them, so this has a big impact on the players too.”
Sagna left the club for free during the wholesale squad changes made by Guardiola in the summer of 2017, however, it looks like the manager had already left quite an impact.