Former Manchester City and Everton defender Eliaquim Mangala has opened up on the difference between working under Pep Guardiola and Sam Allardyce, while he has also revealed which Premier League striker took him most by surprise.
Mangala joined City in the summer of 2014, but he was sent out on loan to Valencia in 2016 after failing to impress at the Etihad Stadium. The defender later returned before once again going on loan to Everton, and has since been sold to Valencia.
In total, Mangala made 79 appearances for the Citizens, but was unable to make any real positive impression. The 28-year-old has now opened up on the contrasting styles of management in England, with the centre-back working under both Guardiola and Allardyce.
He told The Athletic: "These are two different ways. It was quite funny because, for example, at City, at kick-off, we used to do build-up, pass it back, then pass, pass, pass. Then I arrive at Everton. Sam, the week before the game, we train and from the kick-offs, he tells us, ‘Put the ball straight towards the corner, long ball, and then we press there!’ And I am like ‘whaaa… why not keep the ball?’
"But he says, ‘Into the corner, everyone go and press.’ The way he managed the team was different...But, really, Sam is a good guy.”
The Valencia man further explained why he struggled during his time in English football, but insisted that he came to enjoy it.
He added: “City were the Premier League champions and I found a league that is very tough. It was totally different to what I knew before. It was very intense.
"Everyone is strong and quick, even the little players! It’s challenges, it’s second balls...The strategy was to jump on you. It was quite hard. That for me was the big fight and, finally, I did come to enjoy it.”
When asked about which strikers in the league took him by surprise, Mangala replied: “Shane Long! If you see him, you feel like he is quite small but he is so fast.
"He jumps, he runs, he presses and you feel like ‘what?!’ You don’t see this kind of striker in Spain or Portugal, running, jumping on you, constantly trying to unsettle and beat you. That’s what makes the Premier League totally different.”
Source : 90min