Manchester City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi has unveiled two of Pep Guardiola's most important rules in harnessing success at the Manchester Club.
Courtesy of City Watch, the Argentinian defender has offered some insight into the Spanish tactician's famously scrupulous coaching, revealing that eating together as a group and speaking English are at the fulcrum of what he's creating at city.
Speaking to Fox Sports Radio in Argentina, Otamendi said: “After the match we are obliged to eat together," highlighting Guardiola's belief that social interactions off the pitch are integral to success on it.
A lack of such a togetherness and unity was a criticism levelled at his predecessors, especially Roberto Mancini, and Guardiola is clearly aware that such an oversight can cost you your job at the Etihad.
Otamendi continues: “Nutrition and rest are important because we play continuously. Guardiola is quite picky with diet and not only that: he tells us that we all have to learn English. This is because team meetings are in this language, and in December I have an exam."
This may seem an obvious part of playing in the Premier League, but the reality is that it is rarely enforced in such a stringent manner, often leading to several international cliques within the dressing room and occasionally a general disconnect between the players.
Otamendi elaborated: “Guardiola does all these things so that we can perform in the best possible way. These things help the team function.
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"He is omnipresent, and not only for football. He always asks how things are going with our family and everything else.”
Otamendi's improved partnership with Englishman John Stones is one of the most marked developments from last season, and is one of several factors in their progression this campaign.
Evidently better communication between the pair off the pitch, presumably over a couple of protein enriched salads, has enhanced their partnership on it.