‘Football is always evolving’: John Stones hails Pep Guardiola’s tactical innovations at Man City… as he insists the squad are ‘all on the same page’ when it comes to trusting the manager’s decisions
- John Stones heaped praise on Pep Guardiola’s tactical refinements at Man City
- 28-year-old has been deployed further up the pitch when his side have the ball
- Stones revealed the positional fluidity comes from extensive practice in training
Pep Guardiola’s tactical innovations are thoroughly prepared before they are put into practise on matchdays.
John Stones stepping into midfield from right-back is the latest new idea Guardiola has introduced at The Etihad and the England defender reveals it’s not accident the tweaks are usually successful.
‘Football is always evolving. The manager has so many good ideas that he tries to get across to us as players and we try to adapt,’ says Stones.
‘Bernardo has played left-back this season. I am really enjoying myself in my position. Whoever plays in whatever role, we give it our best.
‘Over the past few weeks, the more I have played that role, the more comfortably it is personally, knowing what is expected of me.
John Stones heaped praise on Pep Guardiola for his tactical innovations at Man City
When City are in possession, Stones has moved forward into a midfield role this season
‘There are always slight tweaks in every game and if that comes from system changes, we are all on the same page believing what he (Guardiola) brings to us as a team.
‘I knew what was expected of me in that position because of how much we had worked on the training pitch.
‘We all change positions and know what is expected of different people in different roles, so when you are asked to do something, you switch into that. It makes it easier in that respect because you have done it on the training pitch.’
Stones was used as an orthodox centre-half in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid so Kyle Walker could keep tabs on Carlos Vinicius Jr.
But if Walker is given a rest at Everton on Sunday, Stones could feature again at right-back, stepping into the centre of the park when City are in possession.
The defender added that City’s positional fluidity is the result of extensive practice in training