Arjen Robben said Josep Guardiola is "completely obsessed" with the game as he, Mario Götze and Medhi Benatia sang the praises of FC Bayern München's coach.
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With almost 20 team honours in less than eight years as a coach, Josep Guardiola is proving as potent in management as he was as a player. Certainly that is the view of FC Bayern München players Arjen Robben, Mario Götze and Medhi Benatia, who sat down with UEFA.com ahead of Wednesday's visit of FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie to assess what they had gained playing under Guardiola.
My feeling is that, under him, I have taken more steps forward in terms of positioning, which we work on a lot; also in variation, because sometimes you get to play in other positions; and especially looking for space – where you can be dangerous and where you can be important for the team by scoring a goal, by making a cross. I really enjoy it, he's a coach who is completely obsessed by the game and making the team better. It's nice to be involved in that.
With time, it gets easier to adapt to the philosophy, to your team-mates, etc. I wouldn't say I had problems at the start, but it is difficult when you have played for some time with the [same] lads, with a team that knows each other. We've adapted better and have taken a step further this season in terms of the coach's philosophy. We've grown closer together, and you can see that in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. We've done well, and I can contribute to that by scoring goals and helping the team out.
The gaffer has influence because he is the coach. He decides on his own philosophy, which I share with him – we play possession football, we try to attack and occupy the space. I think that, especially as an attacking player, it is very attractive. It's very good to implement it, and it reflects in our results and in our players. Yes, I have learned a lot since my transfer here. I moved [to a new city], I came to a new club, and those are tasks that you need, new challenges. You can develop that way.
The boss always tries to make life difficult for the opposition, but not always with the same style of play. If it needs to be changed because he has understood that we'll enjoy more success that way, he changes it immediately. He doesn't think, 'I'm Guardiola, I'm the Bayern coach, the tactics that I use don't matter, we'll win.' He doesn't think like that. He really thinks about his team being in the best condition possible. He's always ready to change tactics in order to make life difficult for the opposition and make us perform better in matches.