Manchester City news: Pep Guardiola can 'change mentality of English players' says Barcelona legend Xavi

The English game has been thrown into turmoil by a series of unfortunate events in recent weeks

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Barcelona legend Xavi has backed Pep Guardiola to “change the mentality of English football” as it recovers from a disastrous Euro 2016 and the sudden departure of manager Sam Allardyce. 

The English game has been thrown into turmoil by a series of unfortunate events, including the newspaper sting operation on Allardyce which cost the former Sunderland boss his job, but the deeper issues surround the production of home-grown talent. 

Guardiola has propelled Manchester City to the top of the Premier League in the opening seven matches while also leaning on the talents of John Stones in defence and Xavi, who won eight La Liga titles at the Nou Camp, says he can transform English football.

The 36-year-old, who now plays for Qatari club Al Sadd, told the BBC: “If there is one person who can change the mentality of English players, of English football, it's Pep Guardiola.

“He is one of the best coaches. He could do a big revolution. If you see the games of Manchester City you can see his style. As a player he was a big reference for my career, and as a coach.

“We made history with him in Barcelona. Barcelona always have the best coaches but Guardiola made a revolution; not only at Barcelona but across the world.

“When you see him on the bench you can see his passion for football. I know him and I know he can do it.”