John Stones has revealed that ‘body shape and timing’ were key to his move into midfield at Man City after his key role in their title win – as the England star praised Pep Guardiola for ‘simplifying the role’ for to him
John Stones revealed Pep Guardiola’s tactical innovations as he collected his fifth Premier League medal won at Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
The defender has been playing in a tweaked role for his Catalan manager this season, which has paid dividends in not only revitalizing Stones’ game but helping to propel the Manchester club to Premier League glory and a brighter chasing the Treble come season. an end.
The 28-year-old joined City in the summer of 2016 and made his debut in Guardiola’s first competitive match in charge.
Stones called the club’s fifth title under the former Barcelona head coach ‘surreal’ as he lifted the trophy aloft after receiving a guard of honor from Chelsea ahead of their 1-0 victory over the west London side.
‘It’s surreal, I never thought I’d win five Premier Leagues,’ said Stones.
John Stones lifted his fifth Premier League trophy on a sunny afternoon in Manchester
The 28-year-old’s career at City has caught up with Pep Guardiola and Stones is happy to adapt to the new role his manager has given him this season
I can’t speak now. Every one I’ve won has been special in a certain way, this one was really fun with how we played and the different positions, I really enjoyed it.’
‘I’ve always had a hard time talking about myself. What I’ve tried to do in the last three seasons is to get the consistency, that’s always the key to find that rhythm. It’s about always being prepared. The mindset that is always available.’
Stones has been an invaluable part of City’s 2022/23 campaign, making 32 appearances for the side in all competitions.
But it is his new hybrid position, which allows him to move further up the pitch to form a ‘box midfield’ with team-mate Rodri, that often catches the eye as City repeatedly attack the enemies again.
‘I think it’s a unique position where you have to be spatially aware, I have to learn and adapt in terms of knowing when I can get the ball,’ Stones said of the changes made to his role in team this season. . ‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s given me a new outlook of positioning.
‘Body shape and timing are very specific to that role in midfield. The manager simplified it for me, it was about me trying to implement what he taught me.’
After knocking Bayern Munich out of the Champions League in their quarter-final match-up, Stones described the positional change as a ‘huge learning curve’, but the player has more than taken it in his stride.
As the Stones moved up the pitch, City were more often than not completely overpowering their rivals
Stones provided the hoodoo that stunned Real Madrid when they traveled to the Etihad
The England star praised his head coach for ‘simplifying’ the new approach that has been devised
Stones used the move to dramatic effect in Man City’s 4-0 defeat of Real Madrid in midweek which handed the side a ticket to the Champions League final.
With the Premier League secured, Stones admitted the squad are already thinking about their bright future.
‘The next goal is to keep everyone fit going into the FA Cup final, which is a special cup for me personally against our rivals and then we can fully focus on the Champions League final,’ added player.
After ending their league season against Brighton and Brentford, City’s attentions will turn to facing Manchester United at Wembley, before traveling to Istanbul to face Inter Milan with the aim of winning their first European championship.
News/Image Sources: Daily Mail