Pep Guardiola has revealed that Ferran Torres’s form suffered when the Manchester City forward became “upset at the world” but after changing his mindset the Spaniard is back to his best.
After being signed last summer for €27m (£24.5m) from Valencia, Torres scored in each of his opening three Champions League matches but struggled to secure a regular starting place. Yet in Friday’s 4-3 win at Newcastle Torres scored a hat-trick and has 13 goals in his first campaign for the club. Guardiola was asked if he was looking forward to how Torres might improve next season.
“The players, like teams, are not a stable situation. There is up and down with all players,” said the manager. “Ferran was in an incredible mood when he arrived [then] in one period sad, upset with the world, with many situations and that’s why he didn’t play well. When he changed his mind and he was open and he started to smile again – always he played good.
“Football depends on the mood, the confidence of the players. We try to help them but it depends on them. You can complain or you can move forward all the time. And the guys who move forward and they are positive, always football rewards you. When you start to complain all the time … other guys will take your position. Football doesn’t wait. If you’re not in the right moment there will be another guy who will take your position. When you are positive, you are always playing good.”
With the league won, Guardiola said he expected his team to prepare for the Champions League final against Chelsea with strong performances at Brighton on Tuesdayand then Everton at the Etihad on Sunday. “The mood is really good,” he said. “They’ve been training really well. Everyone is focused. We’ve never been here before in the Champions League final. You don’t have to say anything. People know they have to maintain their rhythm to play the final in the best condition as possible. The best way to prepare is to play well, to play good, it’s the only way we know. For sure we are not preparing for the Champions League final if we don’t prepare for Brighton and Everton.”
After Scott Carson, City’s third-choice goalkeeper, played in the win at Newcastle, Guardiola confirmed Ederson, his No 1, will face Brighton on Tuesday and Everton in the final two league games before the Champions League final against Chelsea in Portugal on Saturday week.
Kevin De Bruyne could be available after resuming training in the past two days. Guardiola was asked about the Belgian’s prospects of being in the starting XI to face Chelsea. “Kevin is important like everyone,” the manager said. “We’ll see what his level is, he’s fit and ready to play.”
Guardiola is also unsure if Sergio Agüero, who leaves City in the summer, will play again for the club due to a thigh problem. “He’s a little bit disturbed in his leg, his adductor,” the manager said.
Asked if City’s record goalscorer might be available for Everton or if there was a chance the Argentinian might have featured for a last time, Guardiola said: “He felt something before the Newcastle game. He’s still not fit. Hopefully he’ll be ready to play against Everton.”