KYLE WALKER has revealed the secrets of what makes Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City such a class act.
The Etihad squad view each session “like a school day” as they learn as much as they can from the master.
And City have been getting top marks during their relentless march towards the Premier League title.
Today they face one of their stiffest exams of the season so far when they travel to in-form Liverpool.
But defender Walker believes they can come through this — or any other test — with flying colours provided they keep on listening to the former Barcelona manager.
He said: “The big thing about joining City was that I wanted to have a new challenge and test myself.
“I am keen to learn and the gaffer is always showing me ways I can improve and I’m taking it on board every day. Every day is a school day, really.
“I’m 27, probably at my peak now and for the next three years. But I’m still improving.”
Walker has seen the way Guardiola developed full-backs such as Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm into complete footballers.
And he hopes he can achieve something similar — although he admits there is much work to do.
He added: “This move was the right decision for me.
“How the manager could develop me as a player was key, having worked with two of my favourite right-backs.
“They were Alves and Lahm. I’m not at their level yet.”
Guardiola’s pursuit of excellence could yet see his City team become ‘Invincibles’ like Arsenal in 2003-04 as they remain unbeaten this season.
There are still 16 games to go — but Walker is already dreaming of being able to share such a moment with his children.
He explained: “Of course I’d like to be part of history. I’ve got three little boys and if they can look at me and say, ‘Daddy was a part of that’, then that would be fantastic.
“We’ve seen Celtic do it last year, so it’s possible. But in the Premier League it is going to be difficult. We have some tough games coming up, like the one at Liverpool.
“We need to keep approaching every game as we have done in the past four or five months and hopefully that will see us over the line.”
While Walker is now in the big time, he has not forgotten his roots and his tough early life in Sheffield.
For that reason he will always want to share any success he can achieve with his family.
He added: “If we can go unbeaten, it would be a pat on the back, not just to myself but to my mum, dad, missus… everyone who has supported me to get where I am now.
“It would be fantastic if we could do it, be remembered like Arsenal.
“I’ve had a difficult upbringing, but it’s all a learning curve and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have that childhood and that learning.”
Recently City have shown the first signs that they are starting to feel the pace of their amazing season.
They only just escaped with a point at Crystal Palace and were given a huge scare by Championship side Bristol City in midweek. Walker told Arab News: “We have played so many games and that maybe showed a little bit at Palace.
“We got the draw there, but it was so close to a loss.
“But you look at the quality we have in the dressing room and especially the striking force… I believe it’s a force to be reckoned with.”
Today, Walker may be more concerned with his defensive duties than bombing down the wing.
Some believe Guardiola’s backline is vulnerable and Liverpool look likely to pose some questions.
Walker said: “It’s going to be a big test for us with the goals they have in their side, but as a defensive group we are confident.”
He sees Mo Salah as a key threat to ending City’s record.
The Reds frontman has 23 goals this season and the City right-back said: “Full credit to Salah, he’s set the Premier League alight.
“But I thought we controlled both Salah and Sadio Mane at the Etihad last September reasonably well.
“We just need to do our job and get a goal at the other end.”
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