"I didn't see this kind of character when we destroyed United" - Pep Guardiola pre West Ham Presser
Pep Guardiola took shots at Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov after the ex Manchester United duo accused City of lacking character(s) in their Champions League exit to Real Madrid. The boss also gave an update on Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho, and talked Sergio Aguero's statue too.
How are Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho?
"They [Fernandinho and Laporte] are in treatment, two days. We will see tomorrow, which players can play on Sunday. Until the day of the game we will not be able to decide."
"I said many times we have to handle these absences. If it was many months [it would be] a big problem but one or two games... We saw against Wolves, we [will] get through [it]."
We're in a title race and we're playing West Ham:
"Two games to go, every three points we win is so important. Still we need six points, we have to make the three then after try to do the last one at home. Just focus on ourselves. West Ham done two extraordinary seasons. This season in the Europa League, they were lucky in the home game against Frankfurt and with ten men in the away leg. An incredible season, so strong in all departments, set pieces, the quality upfront, with Lanzini, Fornals, Bowen. Top side, difficult, we know how important it is to get three points. An incredible step to try and finish the job at home with our people."
"I don't know [if them being in Europa final would've helped], they can still qualify for the Europa League next season."
Sergio Aguero's statue has been unveiled:
"More than deserved, a great honour for Sergio [Aguero] and his family. An icon of this club, of course with a great anniversary of the goal he scored in 93 minutes [against QPR]. Not just for that, for all his career here."
Pep Guardiola's future:
"I don't know what's going to happen the next few games so I don't know about the future. Always when you ask me what's going to happen the answer is the same, I don't know. Things in football change so quickly. If it's good and under control, things can come back and punch you in the face. What I said before it was just Wolves and now just West Ham. Their performances, in the Carabao and Premier League here, we have to do what we have to do. It's not the time to talk about the future or next season or next period. A lot of work, we cannot be distracted."
"I'd say [I still have] the same [drive]. Players can be playing a lot the previous season and next not playing. They have contracts, some leave. I am the same. First depends on results, we have to win otherwise they change. We all have to see, it's about the business, about results. Not about if you're comfortable. I don't complain one second about how satisfied I am here working, it's about results. After six seasons, it's about working hard. After we decide together."
City have started games really well:
"I don't know the stats. This happens because the team starts well but I don't know the reason why. It's because they start focussed, in a rhythm. Our team the way we play, it's so important we can manage the pace and rhythm. Sometimes I'm more concerned when we concede how we react. The big teams don't struggle with results, it's about situations to win the game."
Could the 93:20 situation repeat itself this season?
"I was in Barcelona, I don't know [if I watched it live]. It can happen [again, but] it would be incomparable, the first time is always the special time. Arriving in that moment is who you are. We need four points to be champions, win at West Ham will be almost done. It was in Wolves, we perform incredibly well, we have to do it again."
What does Pep Guardiola want his City legacy to be?
"That we had fun. That is the best legacy, when we are in something in our lives, doesn't matter if professional [or not, it's important that] you have fun. Football is nice because behind you is a lot of people, our fans. I want City fans to say in that [Guardiola] period we were fun, we play good, this is the best legacy. Emotional, give something unique watching our games, that is the best reward."
Pep is not happy with the expanded Champions League reform:
"In some periods, yes [I can enjoy my job]. I'd love to have more time to enjoy the good moments or be sad in bad moments. Here is games, games, games. Champions League in one year is more teams. The more games, more competitions, 365 days a year, nothing changes. My feeling is it will be worse. Too many games, don't have time to enjoy beating Wolves, analyse better, train better. Managers is just here, press conference, some videos. More important is physios and doctors than manager. Not much training sessions, maybe is good. Since Madrid we can't do one training session. Last month always like this, it's getting more like that. Have to be a friend to players than be on training pitch. No time, it's getting worse. I don't think it's good. Now finish the season, players have four games with national teams. One month, three weeks, holidays, start again every three days for 11 months. It's too much. They say 'yeah but you win', maybe we have to win less and change the position. When I hear about the competitions, more games, it will get worse. No chance to train!"
Pep takes aim at Clarence Seedorf, but Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov especially:
"These specialist former players like [Dimitar] Berbatov and [Clarence] Seedorf, Patrice [Evra] they weren't there. I played against them [Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov] and I didn't see this kind of character and personality when we played them with Barcelona, when we destroyed them in the Champions League final against Manchester United. It's the same character and personality [for them]."
"We don't have personality because we concede two goals in two minutes but we had two chances to score and we don't have personality? After the last four games we score 23 goals we have incredible personality. I'm sorry but I completely disagree about this. Personality is what we have done in the last five years, every three days. Maybe Liverpool win all four titles, maybe they win just one, but you say they don't have personality, character, they didn't do an incredible season? Even when they lost the Premier League by one or two points against us, they had a bad season? They don't have character? Of course they do. Sometimes football happens. You cannot control it, emotion, many things. When we are constantly arriving in latter stages, semi-finals, finals last 4-5 years. This is incredible, because we arrive until the end, a lot of games, go through, this is the most important [thing]."
Joao Cancelo and Kevin De Bruyne are up for Premier League Player of the Season:
"There are many players [who deserve], shortlists there are a lot of players every club who play good. Normally Liverpool and City, it's normal. Bernardo [Silva], Rodri were exceptional [too]. Riyad [Mahrez] exceptional this season, last few seasons from him. All players make a contribution. Important for Kevin and Joao is win the Premier League. I didn't speak to them, everyone has his thoughts, it's nice to be nominated. But knowing Bernardo I think he is well."
Written by: @coIgcra
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