"Oh my god, Haaland is always there and finishes" - Pep Guardiola pre Southampton Press Conference
Pep Guardiola answers questions on Kyle Walker's injury, Erling Haaland's not being at the World Cup, one team being better than City in the Premier League, Ilkay Gundogan's wife and much more ahead of the Premier League fixture at home to Southampton this Saturday.
First on Kyle Walker:
"The same as the doctor said - he is out for a few weeks. Nothing further. Too early to say whether he will be fit for the World Cup."
Norway didn't qualify for the World Cup:
"Of course not [happy Erling Haaland will rest]. It is amazing for a football player to play there, it is a shame for the fans who want to see the best players possible. He will have a holiday for a few weeks during the World Cup and then he will be back and training.""
Petition to get Haaland banned from the Premier League:
"Nice joke. It's a joke, it's good!"
Xabi Alonso is the new Bayer Leverkusen manager:
"He was an exceptional holding midfielder. When you are an exceptional holding midfielder, you have to understand the game, and he reads perfectly. Lovely, lovely person, lovely guy. It's an incredible opportunity. He goes to Bundesliga, like he knows quite well, in a really good team, prestigious, still playing in the Champions League. I wish him the best, I spoke with him, hopefully he can do a good job."
Southampton up next:
"I said so far you always worry about how we will react. There is no time to reflect on how we have done because there is a game every three days. Now we have Southampton. Since Ralph Hassenhuttl, we struggle every season to try to control the game. We are ready tomorrow to do a good game."
"I expect a brave team, so aggressive, so well organised. They have a culture I like a lot but we have to maintain this momentum and create a good rhythm. It is an important match for us."
"We have no time for distractions. There is nothing much we can do, in three games we have to travel again."
Pep's reaction to Haaland's second goal vs Copenhagen:
"Not, it's not about that [can't believe how many goals he's scored]. It's just the fact that - it's a deflection, he's there! Why the ball finish where he is. This is an incredible instinct. What I said many times: 'what can I teach?'. Be here or there. Have an incredible sense as a striker. [Where] the ball is going to finish. He goes one second before: 'the ball will arrive, I'm there'. And he has this talent, this quality. It's not [just] about scoring goals [the reaction]. Oh my God. All the time, it's a deflection, it's a cross, he's there [and] finish. These type of players. That's why I'm always surprised. How can - as a manager - I teach him [to be] here or there? It's impossible. It's just completely instincts. It's natural. I said many times recently: he did it Norway, in Austria, in Germany, he's doing it here. You don't have to say anything. [He] moves like he smells it. Thank you so much for he choose us, to come here and the club: Khaldoon [Al Mubarak], Txiki [Begiristain], all the people involved to try to bring him here, because we are fortunate to have this talent with us."
Gundogan's wife said there is no good food in Manchester:
"It's right! What I am disappointed [they] still didn't approve my restaurant. Gundo is not going to play one more minute for the rest of the season. I am going to invite her, and Gundo as well to the Tast [Catala]. Of course we are going to eat properly."
What can Erling Haaland improve?
"The connection with Kevin [De Bruyne], Phil [Foden], Riyad [Mahrez], Jack [Grealish]. Erling [Haaland] when he has the ball, he knows what passes I like. He can improve every part of his game. Everyone knows he can do better. We can all improve until we die."
Callum Wilson said we need a 'silver boot' because of Haaland:
"It will be good for Haaland to break the record but any record can be broken. Hopefully he can carry this on. After the Community Shield people had a lot of doubts but let's just look at tomorrow and he needs to focus on that. Then at the end of the season he can look at the goals."
Guardiola style of play:
"I tell the players offensively and defensively what is going to happen. Our attack has to play differently, our defence has to play differently. The secret is that we have top players. I see us quite similar to last season. We have a guy up front who can unlock the game. Every few years we are a little bit better."
Where City stand:
"In the Champions League we are in a dream position. We cannot forget that one team has been better than us [in the Premier League]. Arsenal have been better than us."
Not reliant on Haaland:
"If we play good we can put a lot of balls in the box. We are not going to [just] rely on Haaland. We saw the last Champions League games that it is out of the control of the players and managers. Our level needs to be higher. What you have to do in the positions against you, you make sure you are good enough."
Comparing Haaland to Messi?
"Nothing is comparable with Leo Messi. How many new Messi's is there ten or fifteen? But they all fail. All of the questions about Erling, but the guys here accept it perfectly. Kevin [De Bruyne] is an exceptional person and he is happy to have Erling here and it goes for all the players here."
Written by: @coIgcra
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