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Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: “Guardiola’s the most demanding person I’ve ever met”

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Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg revealed that dealing with Pep Guardiola’s methods at Bayern Munich was too much for him at the time

The Denmark international played under Guardiola for three years at Bayern, where he managed 12 goals and two assists in 44 appearances.

Although Hojbjerg’s time at the Allianz Arena was mostly cut short when Guardiola sent him on loan to fellow German sides FC Augsburg and Schalke 04.

But Hojbjerg, who was only a teenager when Guardiola first arrived at Bayern in 2013, feels he would have been better prepared now to deal with Catalan’s demanding methods.

“He is the most demanding person, not only coach, that I have ever met,” Hojbjerg told The Times.

“He always told me about controlling the game with or without the ball. To make the player you play against react to you, not you to him.

“He used to say to me, ‘Pierre, the most important thing is, if they are close to you, go out and if they are open, you go in, but you need to read it.’ He would say: ‘You need to tell me after one minute, how do they play.’

“We sit on the bus [at Bayern] after we have won and he sits on the bus watching the game and then he is in his office with two laptops and a television and he is analysing.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 01: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton, wearing a rainbow coloured captain’s armband, looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at St Mary’s Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“Maybe that’s what makes him the greatest. But also maybe that is what makes him lose, because it is too much, he drowns. I don’t judge him but he is the greatest teacher I have had.

“We are people who once worked together and cared about each other, so I have respect for him.

“I learnt a lot from him, he was a great teacher, but to be honest I had him a little bit too early in my life, in my career. He was so good and on such a high level I still had to adapt to that.

“I was 17, 18 and 19. If I was 22, 23, like I am now, I would have had the base, I would not have had to struggle to keep up with some of the best players in the world.

“I was too green, I would have told everybody and I even said to him I was ready to play but if I had him as a coach now I would be even better.”

Hojbjerg will go up against Guardiola’s Manchester City side on Sunday at 15:15 (CET).