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  • Colin Cranmer

"The best Grealish next season? I'm thinking this season" - Pep Guardiola pre Villa Press Conference

Pep Guardiola spoke to the media ahead of Manchester City's Wednesday night game in the Premier League against Steven Gerrard's resurgent Aston Villa side away at Villa Park. Pep spoke on a range of topics, including the status of recent absentees, including Jack Grealish ahead of his much anticipated return to Villa Park after his £100m move, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones. The Ballon d'Or was also discussed and how City are coping without a 'top goal scorer'.


Updates on the squad:

"Kevin still hasn’t trained. He was negative for the last test but could not train. Jack, yesterday was the first minutes with the team and Foden too. Both will be tested to see if they can travel tomorrow to Birmingham."
"Yeah. He [John Stones] is good, yeah. [he is fit]."
"Phil [Foden] and Jack [Grealish] still they are in the same situation, maybe tomorrow can play but not a lot of minutes..."
"Aymeric [Laporte] is out, we have to come back. Never complain the players who are out with injuries, red cards. I trust a lot all the squad, if one is out another comes. December is the toughest month, we have few players."
"Kevin [De Bruyne] is back but needs time to be fit, people with Covid are tired and need time. Kevin needs to be fit to show his top form. We are in a difficult position because players play a lot of minutes. We see what happens after we train."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Thoughts on Aston Villa?

"He's [Steven Gerrard] a manager for the Premier League, I don't believe there's a manager in the Premier League who isn't good! They can train good players, there are incredible managers in all aspects."
"I can imagine with a new manager everybody steps forward to convince the manager to convince the manager. They have two good results against tough teams, we are travelling there. It will be the toughest game as possible."

Pep on Jack Grealish:

"He started perfectly, it's easy because of our English players and the other guys are nice people. Not a problem, he plays good, he needs to settle and needs time. If you analyse games, he doesn't play bad."
"The way we played and expectations. It's different, he did incredibly well at Villa, his commitment to the club to stay and get promoted. Now this break come back from England injured, hopefully he comes back and step by steps finds his form. I don't think the best Jack Grealish we see next season, I'm thinking this season."

Pep speaking on the Ballon d'Or awards:

"Don't ask me about that, it is what is is. We can never say it's unfair that Messi wins the Ballon d'Or. It's a show, a nice business to make football more entertainment. A big compliment to Alexia, Pedri, Leo..."
"If he deserves it or no, I'm not the guy to say. Lewa this season and last, the amount of goals and his quality, it would be fair, but at that level with the clubs and teams if they are there they deserve it."

On City being high scoring without a striker:

"If we don't do it, we wouldn't qualify for the Champions League. In the top leagues, the scorers, we aren't there. Salah, Mane, we aren't in the top seven or eight. If we don't attack as a team we don't survive."
"The Premier League we have done so far is exceptional. The way we are playing is exceptional. The toughest month of the season ahead of us, we have a good team."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Written by: @coIgcra

All quotes as quoted by Manchester Evening News and Manchester City.

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