Alan Shearer, famous goalscorer for Newcastle United and England, believes Pep Guardiola’s attacking approach is here to stay. The Spanish coach set off a football revolution in the Premier League via Manchester City’s passing game, thrilling moves and classy goals. Other clubs are forced to change in a bid to follow down the same path. “Pep came in and did a magnificent job, he changed the way a lot of teams play football. Now we see teams playing from the back, the goalkeeper at City is as good as any forward on the pitch.”
The ex-international feels that the Guardiola impact will continue even after he moves on to another country. “When you look (at English football), a lot of clubs want to play that way, build from the goalkeeper. Teams are not kicking long as many did years ago. I am referring to clubs not just in the Premier League but also outside.”
Shearer praised City’s success last season, in terms of matchplay, points on the board and goals scored. He was speaking on the sidelines of the PL-ISL Next Generation Mumbai Cup, featuring U-14 squads from England (Southampton, Manchester United and Chelsea) pitted against Indian teams from ISL (Bengaluru FC, FC Goa) and the Mumbai-based Reliance Foundation Young Foundation Champs.
Shearer, who also turned out for Southampton and Blackburn Rovers, pointed out Southampton’s matches against Indian sides (drew with Bengaluru FC U-14 and lost to FC Goa U-14) as the benefits of exposure to both camps.
“There might be a difference in ability, it is only natural. Give them time and the differences will get lesser, more opportunities to play against the likes of ManU, Chelsea and Southampton can only benefit everyone. It will help the English clubs who have come over here, it can benefit the youngsters in the ISL sides by playing against different systems, different styles. The benefits extends to the coaches and referees as well,” said England’s captain in World Cup 1998.