- Title: Villa backs Guardiola to turn around City fortunes
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - MAY 26, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CELEBRATIONS AT BARCELONA'S CAMP NOU STADIUM TO MARK THE END OF GUARDIOLA'S FOUR YEARS AT THE CLUB
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 22:46
- Keywords: David Villa Pep Guardiola Barcelona FC MLS
- Location: MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES/NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES/ BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES/NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES/ BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: USA
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0075ZM11KV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa has backed Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to overcome teething troubles and turn around the fortunes of the Premier League club.
Having enjoyed great success with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola was brought in by City to take the club into the European elite but so far the Spaniard is struggling to compete on the domestic front.
City were hammered 4-0 by Everton on Sunday (January 15) and have slipped to fifth in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Villa, who now plays in Major League Soccer with New York City FC, kept faith with the manager under whom he won the Spanish league twice and the 2011 Champions League with Barca.
"In Soccer it's difficult to win, and he wins almost always so it's normal to have difficult periods in the team but he's great and I think he has a methodology and he has a very good coaching staff for change, to change the situation and in the future to be better for sure," Villa told Reuters television in an interview on Tuesday (January 17).
"Manchester City is in a different period right now but I believe they will change the situation soon," added the 35-year-old.
Guardiola won three Spanish league titles and two Champions Leagues with Barca and won the Bundesliga in all three seasons at Bayern.
Villa, who scored 59 goals for Spain in 97 appearances, credited Guardiola with making him into a better all-round player.
"I think when I arrived to Barcelona, I, always in my career I play number 9, I finish the plays of the team â€¦ When I came in to play with Guardiola he changed my the position, he changed my mentality and after that I think I am a better player for understanding something not only on the pitch, not only on the field about scoring goals," said Villa.
"My career before him was only score goals, last man on the pitch for the team and they showed me other things about â€¦ outside of scoring goals. For sure I always say that he was great with my career," he added.
Villa was voted MLS's Most Valuable Player in 2016 after scoring 22 goals in 32 games for his New York club.
New York City FC share the same owners as Manchester City, the Abu Dhabi-owned City Football Group who also run Australian club Melbourne City and has a minority holding in Japanese J-League club Yokohama F-Marinos.
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