Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hails 'unique' Marcelo Bielsa in addressing Leeds United spygate issue

MANCHESTER CITY boss Pep Guardiola has defended Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa amidst the ongoing spygate row, declaring that "no manager in the world works with this amount of information."

Friday, 18th January 2019, 2:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 3:06 pm
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Bielsa admitted before last weekend's hosting of Frank Lampard's Derby County to sending a member of his footballing staff to Derby's training ground ahead of the Friday night Championship showdown at Elland Road.

The matter is now being investigated by both the FA and the EFL with Bielsa opting to hold a lengthy press conference on Wednesday to explain his actions and argue that he would gain little from the findings of one training session given his meticulous research and planning on every opponent.

The Whites head coach also admitted that his coaching staff had watched training sessions of all of their opponents before playing them this season, with Bielsa also going into great detail about the research undertaken on Guardiola's Barcelona when the Argentinian was in charge of Athletic Bilbao.

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"When I was a coach of Athletic Bilbao we played Barcelona in a final we lost 3-0," said Bielsa.

"I gave all this information I have shown you on Barcelona to Pep Guardiola. He said to me you know more about Barcelona that me! I do this analyse to ease my anxiety."

But asked about Bielsa and spygate at City's pre-Huddersfield Town press conference, Guardiola said his own well-documented respect for Bielsa remained the same with the City boss also describing the hard work and approach of Bielsa as "unique."

"Barcelona was a bunker! It was impossible!" laughed Guardiola, asked if Bielsa might have gained inside information on his former side.

"I saw the highlights of the press conference and no manager in the world works with this amount of information. It's unique, in the world it's unique.

"My respect remains the same, absolutely the same. I admired what he has done in the past, why should I change my opinion. I know him, I would not say perfectly, but a little bit. I understand Frank Lampard too, both sides are understandable."