Guardiola lets his hair down
Pep Guardiola has not had too much to smile about on the opening days of the Manchester City tour.
Problems with flying over caused them to arrive two days late and the Catalan was then immediately occupied with preparations for the West Ham game, which City won 4-1 yesterday.
Having watched their first training session on tour from a distance, Guardiola was in the thick of this one, playing opposite John Stones in a fast passing drill concentrated on ball retention and playing through tight defences.
The City manager looked cheery as he joked about with the players and turned the air blue after a few mistakes.
His stars were unafraid to get physical with the coaching staff with a few meaty challenges.
De Bruyne the commander
Kevin De Bruyne would happily take the City captaincy if offered (although David Silva would also be a popular choice) and the Belgian was leading by example in all of the exercises.
After a horrible year with injuries last season, De Bruyne looks back to his roaming self and many fingers will be crossed that he can avoid any more bad luck.
Tough going for youngsters
Guardiola has warned that players will take time to get used to what is demanded in first team training and some of the youngsters found it difficult to keep up as the likes of Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne passed and moved at a lightning rate.
Mikel Arteta was among those encouraging the academy players on, and they certainly weren’t lacking in effort.
Adapting to the conditions
The session may have been intense but City are not pushing too hard as they warm up for the season.
The players trained in sweltering conditions in Nanjing and it is set to be even hotter when they take on Wolves in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Shanghai.
Some of City’s rivals have been racking up the miles in their legs as they push to be as fit as possible for the new season, but the Blues are sticking to short bursts; this was their only session of the day and some players didn’t even take part in everything.