'Guardiola asked a lot from us' – Ex-Bayern Munich keeper sheds light on manager's unique philosophy

Lukas Reader offered insight into how much importance the Spanish boss placed upon playing out from the back at Allianz Arena

Pep Guardiola “asked a lot” of all his first-team goalkeepers while in charge at Bayern Munich, according to Lukas Reader, who has shed some light on his former manager’s footballing philosophy.

After establishing himself as arguably the world’s finest manager over four years at Barcelona, Guardiola took a year out to consider his options before taking up another high profile post.

The 49-year-old was appointed as Bayern’s new permanent boss ahead of the 2013-14 season, succeeding Jupp Heynckes at Allianz Arena, who called time on his career after overseeing an unprecedented treble success.

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Guardiola wasn’t able to add to the club’s haul of Champions League crowns during his time in Germany, but did manage to deliver seven major trophies, including three successive Bundesliga titles.

The Spanish head coach also revolutionised the way Bayern play, implementing the same ‘tiki-taka’ style which garnered so much success while he was at Camp Nou.

First choice shot-stopper Manuel Neuer was asked to kick start attacks from his own penalty area, with a focus placed on quick passing interchanges designed to create gaps in the opposition defence.

Guardiola left Bayern to take up a new challenge with Manchester City in 2016, where he has managed to enhance his reputation as a tactical genius even further while conquering yet another of Europe’s top leagues.

Former Bayern keeper Reader has recalled being put through his paces on the training pitch by a Barcelona legend who has become well known for his meticulous approach, insisting Guardiola was always able to keep his emotions in check when instructing his players on how to improve.

Reader told Goal and SPOX: “He asked a lot from us in a playful way. The goalkeeper was often involved in training to practice the build-up play.

“Manuel Neuer could do everything perfectly. Sometimes you had to play a long ball. If that happened, although there were other options, Pep didn’t shout at you.

“For this purpose, discussions took place after the training in which he showed me solutions for such situations.”

Reader was a regular in Bayern’s academy side before a cruciate ligament injury halted his progress, and Guardiola ended up sanctioning his departure in the summer of 2014.

The German went on to express his gratitude towards the club’s medical staff for helping him overcome the issue, adding: “I didn’t want to admit it because I had no complaints. 

“The question then was whether I would have an operation or not. In consultation with the doctors and [sporting director] Matthias Sammer, we decided on the operation. 

“In retrospect, I am very happy that this happened to me at Bayern. I would never have received such medical treatment anywhere else.”

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