Never mind coach, Guardiola is the most demanding person I've ever met – Hojbjerg
Posted On March 22, 2019
The Denmark international spoke of the intensity with which his former boss works and how he was too young to appreciate it
Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has admitted he was too young to fully absorb the methods of ‘the most demanding person he’s ever met’ in Pep Guardiola, during his time at Bayern Munich.
The midfielder spent three years under Guardiola in Bavaria, though was twice sent out on loan under the Catalan – first to Augsburg then Schalke.
And while the well respected Manchester City boss secured several titles during his time in the Bundesliga, Hojbjerg feels that if he had been older he would have benefited more from Guardiola’s tutelage.
“He is the most demanding person, not only coach, that I have ever met,” Hojbjerg told The Times.
“He always told me about controlling the game with or without the ball. To make the player you play against react to you, not you to him.
“He used to say to me, ‘Pierre, the most important thing is, if they are close to you, go out and if they are open, you go in, but you need to read it.’ He would say: ‘You need to tell me after one minute, how do they play.’
“We sit on the bus [at Bayern] after we have won and he sits on the bus watching the game and then he is in his office with two laptops and a television and he is analysing.
“Maybe that’s what makes him the greatest. But also maybe that is what makes him lose, because it is too much, he drowns. I don’t judge him but he is the greatest teacher I have had.
“We are people who once worked together and cared about each other, so I have respect for him.
“I learnt a lot from him, he was a great teacher, but to be honest I had him a little bit too early in my life, in my career. He was so good and on such a high level I still had to adapt to that.
“I was 17, 18 and 19. If I was 22, 23, like I am now, I would have had the base, I would not have had to struggle to keep up with some of the best players in the world.
“I was too green, I would have told everybody and I even said to him I was ready to play but if I had him as a coach now I would be even better.”
As for the present, Hojbjerg is preparing to face off against his old boss’ side when City face Southampton on Sunday, the English champions arriving off the back of two rare defeats.
As such, the Saints are preparing for the clash very differently than they would have a month prior.
“There is a mental mindset that says, ‘Oh they’re hurt, they’re wounded, let’s go at them,’ and if you get a taste of when they are down, you go for the kill,” Hojbjerg added.
“But if City have won 10 games in a row and you meet them, then before the game some players will already say we’ve lost.
“Now, when they are wounded, there is a belief that maybe wasn’t there before.”