Pep Guardiola says reserve-team football in England is poor preparation for top-flight
Last Updated: 13/05/17 9:29am
Pep Guardiola says reserve-team football in England fails to prepare the next generation of professionals for the top-flight game in this country.
The Manchester City boss says reserve-team players in Spain, Italy and Germany compete at a far higher level than in England, with Guardiola explaining that the Etihad's brightest young talent may have to wait another full season before they are ready to be unleashed on the Premier League.
Players such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Aleix Garcia, Tosin Adarabioyo and Pablo Maffeo have had little Premier League exposure this season, yet Guardiola remains convinced they have a future at the top level.
The Spaniard told The Daily Telegraph: "The problem the managers have with the second teams is that the league they compete in doesn't count, so the gap between the first team and second team when they compete is so big.
"They play between each other with small ages and no spectators. They (the young players) will come to the United States on our pre-season tour, so we are going to see how they are.
"They are 16, 17 or 18. The quality is there, but maybe not in the next year. Next season most of them will be training with us and we are going to see how they are.
"The second teams in Spain, at Barcelona or Real Madrid, play in front of 40,000 people and every weekend in the second league.
"In Italy or Germany, they are so tough, so demanding, they are playing with guys who are 28, 29 or 30 and that is the best way to improve, not training with the first team sometimes.
The second teams in Spain, at Barcelona or Real Madrid, play in front of 40,000 people and every weekend in the second league.
"Here they don't compete, they don't play with each other, they are good guys but after this, they have to play in Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
"I don't know if they are able to compete with them. But the league is what it is here and we have to deal with that."