The international break is finally over, and Pep Guardiola is ours for two more years after the current campaign! Alongside our players banging in the goals, we’ve had a pretty successful international break. Attentions now turn to Tottenham and Jose Mourinho, in what seems like a must-win game.
Here’s all the quotes from Guardiola pre-match press conference…
The squads potential
First up for Pep Guardiola was a discussion on this squads potential. During the international break, youngsters Phil Foden and Ferran Torres throughly impressed. Guardiola maintains however, he’s taking it week by week:
“I’m not thinking much right now about titles. It will be good to do what we have done the last three years. It’s difficult. But we are thinking week by week to do a good job and we’ll see at the end what we deserve.”
Messi Manchester bound?
With all the post-Pep contract talk yesterday, Lionel Messi was obviously mentioned as a potential target for the club in either January or the summer. Pep Guardiola has always maintained a stance he wants Messi to finish his career at Barcelona – and that’s not changed.
“Messi is a player from Barcelona, if you ask me my opinion I have a huge gratitude for what Barcelona has done for me, what I want is for him to finish his career there.
I would love, wish, I have said a thousand times. I would like as a Barcelona fan for him to finish his career then. I don’t know what is in his mind, for now he is a Barcelona player. The transfer market is in June.”
With a hectic schedule, Pep Guardiola has provided us all with an injury update as the players return from international duty.
Fernandinho has recovered from his hamstring injury but will not be available for this weekend clash as he has ‘something in his stomach‘. However, both Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling have both recovered from their respective injuries and are available for selection.
“Sergio [Aguero] trained this week and Raheem [Sterling], today, was the first training with the team.”
Contract extension reaction
Obviously the main topic of conversation was Guardiola’s contract extension – confirmed by the club yesterday. He reiterated the main reason he decided to stay came from talks with the club Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“One of the main ones was my conversations with Khaldoon. The club, especially this season, how the club asked in the difficult period. The club didn’t ask the government for furlough, didn’t fire one person.”
“They showed me the club, how good they are in many things. After the conversation with Khaldoon, we decided on two more years.”
“All managers are there to win titles. We did an incredible job to win eight titles. The job is not to win titles, it’s to win tomorrow. We spoke a lot with Txiki, Khaldoon and analyse what we have done, what we can do,” Guardiola continued.
“I say an incredible thank you for the opportunity to continue at #ManCity. People say thanks to me, but I say thanks to the club. They’re the reason I’m here. They gave me a lot, we continue to do the best for our people to do best as possible.”
Spurs title contenders?
Pep was asked about whether this weekend’s opposition can be title contenders. The London-based club have serial winner Jose Mourinho in charge and Pep Guardiola believes they will certainly be up there.
“The numbers speak for themselves. They dropped points vs Newcastle/West Ham, imagine the table without. Of course they are contenders. They are an exceptional team, the last four or five years since Mauricio took over.”
“We are getting better. I don’t speak about Tottenham, it’s not my concern. We suffered players with a lack of condition, lot of players back except Nathan [Ake], Fernandinho and someone else, we are all back…”
Guardiola doesn’t want to risk fans back in stadiums
It’s nearly been a year since fans last entered a football stadium to watch a match. It’s been a tough time for all, but as much as Pep Guardiola wants to see faces back, he doesn’t want to take a risk on peoples health.
“I want to listen to the science, not politicians. We want people back in stadiums, but also restaurants, cinemas. People are dying all around the world. The vaccine is not here yet.”
“I don’t want to take a risk, the UK is rising and rising every day. I would like the government to follow what the science are saying. They know exactly what we have to do.”
Guardiola backs Torrent
Pep Guardiola has backed former number two Domenec Torrent after he was sacked as manager of Flamengo in Brazil. The Catalan has backed his close friend to bounce back at his next opportunity:
“It was the decision for Flamengo. He made a good job. You can’t train in a pandemic but this is the decision. He’s grateful for the experience to live in Brazil. Now he has to wait for another opportunity.”
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