Memorable PK, City feel pressure: Guardiola scoffs: “I do everything for the cameras, for my ego”

Memorable PK, City feeling the pressure
Guardiola scoffs: “I do everything for the cameras, for my ego”

By David Needy

Pep Guardiola delivers a great moment when it comes to sarcasm: The Manchester City coach reprimands his team after the final whistle and now mocks that he “needs the cameras” and makes his players feel “how bad they are”. He also has words for Erling Haaland. Is there a great fear behind it?

On Sunday, Pep Guardiola had to accept a setback in the fight to defend his title in the English Premier League: While German team manager Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool FC initially defeated Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City then did not get beyond a goalless draw against Arsenal London FC . The Reds replaced the men from the capital at the top of the table and distanced Guardiola’s Citizens to three points. Liverpool also has the better goal difference in comparison.

Accordingly, the 53-year-old City coach appeared annoyed and tight-lipped at the press conference this afternoon before the next important league game tomorrow, Wednesday against Aston Villa, the current fourth-placed team in the Premier League (9.15 p.m./RTL+). Guardiola initially made it clear that he was not interested in answering questions from the journalists present with monosyllabic answers to inquiries about injured players. When a journalist wanted to know why, immediately after the final whistle of the game against Arsenal, the Spaniard was excited and gesticulating wildly to his attacker Jack Grealish, who previously played for Villa, giving instructions on the pitch and confronting him with criticism there instead of in the dressing room itself a memorable press conference.

With an ice-cold expression, Guardiola said: “I do all this for the cameras, for my ego.” When the journalist asked, Manchester’s coach continued stoically: “I’m the famous person of the team and I need the recognition, I need the cameras so I can go to sleep with incredible satisfaction. That’s why I have the players there always criticize and make them feel how bad they are.” Guardiola has often been criticized for his habit of analyzing and, if necessary, reprimanding players on the pitch after the game rather than in the dressing room.

“If Erling scores three goals…”

The team manager is also notorious for his dark humor and bone-dry sarcasm. A year and a half ago, Guardiola’s former Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimović said that attacker Erling Haaland would only continue to flourish in Manchester if Guardiola curbed his huge ego, which he once prevented the Swede from developing at Barça. The City coach replied: “He’s right, he’s completely right. In this club, in this team, my ego is above every other person, every player,” he said at the time without batting an eyelid when asked about the Ibrahimović issue. “I don’t like it when Erling scores three goals and all the attention is focused on him. I’m so jealous! Honestly, so jealous! I then told him: ‘Erling, please no more goals, otherwise the ‘Sun’ will talk The Daily Mail is no longer about me, but only about you.”

And this time too, Guardiola continued to mock and spoke about Haaland again without asking. “If Erling scores three goals, I want the compliments and he shouldn’t get them.” That’s why he does the debriefing right there on the pitch in front of the cameras. The coach also sent a tip for the press: “Next time, don’t film us and there won’t be a problem.”

It is not known whether Guardiola was just annoyed for a short time, or whether his nerves were on edge, or why he chose the memorable sarcasm interlude. Is the close championship fight, the last against rival Jürgen Klopp, affecting the coach more than he would like because he has now fallen behind? Is he taking such actions to be a protective shield for his players so that they can concentrate on the football pitch in the important weeks? Does he think he can wake up his team with this?

Guardiola under pressure against Villa

The fact is: The Skyblues are under pressure because, after years of success (treble last season), they can no longer be as dominant as usual this season. Haaland no longer works as spectacularly or effectively as a goal machine and has recently had to listen to harsh criticism from experts, a new long-term rival is threatening to emerge at Arsenal FC and Liverpool’s power football under Klopp seems to be defeating tactical inventor Guardiola once again. There is also the charge of 115 breaches of financial fair play rules (from 2009 to 2018) that Manchester City is still facing and that could gnaw at Guardiola.

Premier League live on RTL+

On Wednesday, April 3rd, the Premier League game between Manchester City and Aston Villa will be live on RTL+ from 9 p.m.

Kyle Walker, Nathan Aké and goalkeeper Éderson are out for at least the next league game, but John Stones, who was surprisingly left on the bench against Arsenal, could return. The difficult away game in the Champions League at Real Madrid awaits on Tuesday in a week’s time. FC Bayern Munich or Arsenal would be waiting in a possible semi-final in the premier class. There could be easier weeks for a coach.

City cannot afford to go bankrupt against Villa, otherwise if Liverpool win against Sheffield United on Thursday, the championship will probably be gone. But Unai Emery’s team has already beaten the Citizens once this season (1-0 at Villa Park in December 2023). A game that Pep Guardiola says was his team’s worst performance of the season. “We deserved to lose the game,” he said at the press conference. And this was probably a sentence without any sarcasm.

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