Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is such a perfectionist that he even insists on having upbeat music in the dressing room to pump up his players before a game.
City’s dressing room DJ Gael Clichy has revealed that when he put on some slower, relaxing music before a recent match, the Spaniard was not happy.
The tunes Clichy chose before City’s 3-1 win at Swansea were “too chilled” for the boss’s liking, he says in an exclusive interview with DRDJ.
Clichy says: “He didn’t like it so much because he wants a bit more energy before the game. He came to me and said: ‘That’s too slow, we want a bit more boom-boom.’”
French left-back Clichy is the undisputed DRDJ at the Etihad and the night before every game he puts together a playlist.
Clichy has now won the seal of approval from Pep, who is always looking for the extra “one per cents” that make a difference.
He added: “He is the kind of guy who is into all details, so he will be looking round seeing if the players will be happy with the music – if the players are alive – and if he sees this I guess I’ve done my job right.”
Leading musicologist James Doheny said Guardiola is right to pay attention to detail about the tempo of City’s pre-match music.
Doheny, who trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, told DRDJ: “The beats-per-minute of the music played in the dressing room might sound a trivial matter for Pep to be concerned over.
“But it’s something that could give the club marginal gains in improving their performance.”
The music expert said that most people have experience of listening to fast music to improve their own sporting performance.
He explained: “We’ve probably all done a jogging mixtape or been to a spin class where music with a fast BPM is played.
“Music is a form of communication, and faster music communicates the feeling of getting your heart racing.
“It’s something we’ve known about for centuries – think of armies marching into battle with marching bands playing music to get battalions ready for combat.”
Doheny admitted that Clichy has a hard task as City’s DJ to keep all the players happy.
He said: “A dressing room DJ has to instill the same feeling in all the players, of getting them pumped up. But, with a cosmopolitan club like City, he has to do that while also catering for players from many musical cultures. That’s as skilled as any DJ.”
Clichy certainly takes his job seriously. Most of our dressing room DJs use phones or iPods and speakers, but that is not good enough for Clichy. He is the only DRDJ to take portable decks on the team bus with him.
He compiles the playlists the day before every match and will go as far as mixing the tunes to make sure it’s seamless.
And the beat is fast enough to keep Pep happy.