Sunday, October 24, 2021

No change of strategy for City, says Monaco’s Jardim

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Leonardo Jardim

Leonardo Jardim says there will be no battening down the hatches when his Monaco side play Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 first leg clash on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.

The 42-year-old Venezuela-born coach — who has guided Monaco to the top of Ligue 1 despite having a significantly inferior budget to champions Paris Saint-Germain — said attacking football was in the team’s DNA and the players know that.

“It is a message that I pass on to the players: whether playing (non league) Chambly, PSG or Tottenham (above whom they finished in their Champions League group), it’s always the same style,” he said at the eve of match press conference.

“We have a DNA, we worked for that. The team will not change depending on the adversary.

“It is our 11th European match this season and the team has played the same way in all the previous ones.

“Perhaps the result is not always the same but that is life.”

Jardim, who two years ago guided a Monaco side including current Manchester United star Anthony Martial to the Champions League quarter-finals, said he was flattered by compliments from City counterpart Pep Guardiola.

But he said there were major differences between the respective clubs.

“I am a realist,” said Jardim. “He (Guardiola) was comparing the two teams.

“Both sides like to keep the ball, and have loads of highly-talented technical players. They also both work hard.

“However, there are areas where the teams can’t be compared.

“One can’t compare the value of both teams on the transfer market. We have players of great quality, that is true, but they have players who can be match winners on their own.”

Jardim, who has kept Monaco competitive despite regularly having to sell his best players — Portugal international Bernard Silva has been linked with Chelsea and both Manchester clubs — said he was looking forward to playing a side coached by Guardiola.

“He is a colleague to me,” said Jardim, who came to Monaco in 2014 after a spell with Sporting Lisbon.

“He is a good coach, who coached three big clubs: Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

“But is is difficult to talk of his methods, because what one reads is one thing, the reality is sometimes another.”

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