England Rugby Union coach Eddie Jones has confessed that he felt ‘amateurish’ after watching a Pep Guardiola training session at Bayern Munich, and that he was left ‘dazed’ after speaking to the Catalan, reports the Times.
Eddie Jones, who has managed England since November 2015, has revealed his views in his autobiography ‘My Life and Rugby‘ that is released this month. He has spoken openly about his experience following an invitation to observe Guardiola lead a training session during his tenure at Bayern Munich. Jones provides a fascinating insight into how Guardiola conducts himself as a coach.
The Australian details how the polyglot Pep would speak in ‘various languages’ with his diverse squad and worked ‘with striking intensity’. The team were split into three groups with Pep then delivering an exhausting session that focused on ‘concepts of space’. Jones was struck by Guardiola’s ‘razor-sharp instruction and expectation’ which combined with ‘purpose, intensity and clarity’ to achieve ‘more in half an hour than most teams would in a traditional two-hour training stint’.
Jones, who led England to their first World Cup final since 2007 earlier this month, has candidly admitted that he ‘squirmed at how amateurish’ his own coaching sessions appeared compared to those he had witnessed on the Bayern Munich training ground. He praises Pep’s ability to not only lead a group but also speak to players on a one-to-one basis, in a way that ‘opened their minds’ via his ‘impassioned and…inspirational’ address.
After the session, Jones enjoyed the company of Guardiola for two hours. They discussed tactical concepts common to both sports such as space, movement and passing. Jones again confesses to feeling flustered at the superior knowledge Guardiola displayed. He comments that he left the meeting ‘feeling almost dazed…it was embarrassing to know how far ahead of me he was’.
All of this will be music to the ears of Manchester City fans. Similarly, Guardiola will certainly be flattered to receive such effusive praise from a man who is hardly a stranger to success. Jones’s managerial career in Rugby Union has seen his sides lift numerous trophies.
In particular, his efforts in 2017 to lead England to the Six Nations Championship resulted in him being crowned World Rugby Coach of the Year; Guardiola’s words evidently did not go unheeded. Would England have won the Six Nations Championship without Jones’s eye-opening encounter with Guardiola? I guess we’ll never know.
The Times adds that the Manchester City manager has recently spoken of his wish to invite Jones to the Etihad campus for another opportunity to share their thoughts. If he does, do not bet against Jones soon after bringing more success to English rugby.
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