It looked like it could have been tactical advice to a substitute, but Pep Guardiola instead gave tips to a ball boy during Manchester City’s 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
While City ran out comfortable winners in the end at the Etihad, they were frustrated in the first half, with Palace in no rush to take set-pieces or goal-kicks.
Pep Guardiola is a manager known for his meticulous attention to detail.
Whether it be tactics, training or team selection, the Man City boss leaves no stone unturned in his quest to get the very best out of his side.
Apparently, that includes making sure the ball boys are fully briefed on team tactics.
During City’s 5-0 win against Crystal Palace, Guardiola was spotted giving some very detailed instructions to a young ball boy at the Etihad.
The Spaniard clearly had a very specific point he wanted to get across to the young man – and he explained exactly what that was after the match.
“If you analyse 30 minutes in the first half, we were not ready to be there.
“Maybe over 90 minutes you cannot be there all the time. But it was slow.
“If there was a foul, no-one went to take the ball and start to play. There was five, ten seconds before someone goes to take the ball and start to play. When this happens everything is slow.
“So the ball boys were slow, everybody was slow. And we have to create in the game, to provoke the game. And we didn’t for most of the time in the first half.”
Essentially, Guardiola believed that should everybody involved in the City side of things begin to speed up their jobs, it would pay off.
Based on the fact that the scoreline went from 1-0 at half time to 5-0 after the 90, you could say the little chat had the desired effect,
So, essentially, Guardiola wanted everyone – ball boys included – to speed up the play.
Given that the score went from 1-0 at half-time to 5-0 at full-time, he got what he wanted.