Guardiola takes swipe at Man City fans and says he 'doesn't recognise' his side

By Sports Desk January 19, 2023

Pep Guardiola took a swipe at Manchester City's home support and said he "doesn't recognise" his side on current form, despite battling to a 4-2 win over Tottenham.

City were booed off the pitch when two goals behind in Thursday's Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, facing a third straight loss for the first time since April 2018.

Ederson played Rodri into trouble and that allowed Dejan Kulusevski to fire Spurs ahead, before Emerson Royal profited from more sloppy play at the back to head in a second.

But City's response was just as emphatic the other side of half-time as Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland had them on level terms by the 53rd minute.

Star man Mahrez assisted that Haaland goal – ending the striker's three-game scoreless run – before scoring two of his own to seal a superb second-half comeback.

It marks the second time City have recovered from two goals down and won a league game this season, having also done so against Crystal Palace in August.

While the win moved City within five points of leaders Arsenal, albeit having played a game more, a tetchy Guardiola was not happy with what he witnessed against Tottenham.

"We have to prepare better. I cannot deny how happy we are but we are far away from the team that we were," he told Sky Sports. 

"Not in terms of play – we played good – but there are many other things, like competitiveness.

"We gave them the first goal. The second goal is ridiculous. There's nothing from the stomach, from the guts. We were lucky, but if we don't change we will drop more points."

Asked what was missing from his side, Guardiola said: "Passion, fire and desire to want to win from the first minute. Our fans were silent for 45 minutes.

"They booed because we were losing but in the second half we played good, we had more chances."

City have won the Premier League in four of the past five seasons, whereas surprise leaders Arsenal are chasing a first title in 20 years.

Guardiola's side still have to face Arsenal home and away, but the Catalan coach insists his side will not catch the Gunners unless something changes.

"Maybe it's the same with our team [as the fans]. Maybe we are so comfortable with winning four Premier Leagues in five years," Guardiola said.

"We have an opponent in Arsenal who have the fire. Two decades without winning the Premier League. Everything is so comfortable [at City] but opponents don't wait.

"I don't recognise my team. They [previously] had the passion and desire to run. We are far away from the team we had in previous seasons.

"Do you think this comeback will happen every time? It won't. Today we were lucky. If we want to win something or compete, then by complaining, complaining, complaining there is no chance we will win anything.

"It's my duty, it's my job [to get the fans back onside]. I want my fans back, I want my fans that are here – not my away fans, they are the best – but my fans here.

"They need to support every corner and every action, because Tottenham are one of the toughest opponents I've ever faced." 

Guardiola was at least more upbeat when asked about the display of Mahrez, who now has 11 direct goal involvements against Spurs, making them his favourite opponent.

"What a player," Guardiola said. "Before the World Cup he was on holiday. Now he has realised, 'oh'."

City return to action on Sunday with a home match against Wolves, with that match kicking off ahead of Arsenal's meeting with Manchester United.

Related items

  • Page sacked as Wales manager Page sacked as Wales manager

    Wales have sacked manager Rob Page following the country's failure to qualify for Euro 2024.

    The 49-year-old was initially given the job on an interim basis in November 2020, taking over from Ryan Giggs, before being appointed permanently in September 2022.

    Page took charge of 45 games for the national team, winning 15 of those matches.

    He oversaw the team at two major tournaments, reaching the round of 16 at Euro 2020, and led Wales to the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, though they exited in the group stage after earning only one point.

    Wales were agonisingly short of qualifying for a third consecutive European Championships, losing on penalties to Poland in their play-off final in March.

    Despite being backed by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) following that result, Page then came under heavy criticism following a goalless draw with minnows Gibraltar and a 4-0 thrashing by Slovakia in their June friendlies, leading to his contract being terminated.

  • Philadelphia Union v Charlotte FC: Baribo frustrated despite goalscoring form Philadelphia Union v Charlotte FC: Baribo frustrated despite goalscoring form

    Tai Baribo did not feel he could fully enjoy scoring his first league goals for the Philadelphia Union, as he set his sights on helping the team turn around their form.

    The Union slipped to a second straight defeat in MLS as they went down 4-3 to FC Cincinnati in midweek, despite Baribo's double.

    Indeed, Philadelphia have now gone without a win in their last five MLS games.

    That run has seen the Union drop to 10th in the Eastern Conference, five places behind Charlotte FC, their opponents this weekend.

    "I mean, it's hard to enjoy," Baribo said after the defeat to Cincinnati.

    "Of course, I'm happy because I scored, but we lost again. The team is the most important thing, and if we lose I can't be happy.

    "Thank you to the coach for giving me this opportunity and I'm happy that I took it. I felt good in the game, but in the end, we lost, so it doesn't matter."

    Union coach Jum Curtin was full of praise for Baribo's display.

    Curtin said: "He's worked hard to get this start, and now, he’s certainly left a really good impression with the coaches, put in a great shift, and will certainly get more playing time.

    "Tai worked hard in training and we rewarded him. He stepped on the field and gave us everything and did a really good job for us.

    "He earned the start and like a good professional, he took advantage of his opportunity. So, I’m happy for Tai. It was something to build on, but I know he would trade the two goals for some points as well. He did a good job finishing his plays off in the box like a good striker and hopefully there's more of that in the future."


    Philadelphia Union - Kai Wagner

    Wagner assisted two of the Union’s three goals on Wednesday against Cincinnati, his seventh career MLS match with multiple assists, more than any other defender since he joined the league in 2019.

    Charlotte FC - Kerwin Vargas

    Vargas scored Charlotte's opener in their 2-2 draw with Orlando City last time out, taking his tally to the season to four goals in MLS. He is their leading scorer.


    Charlotte earned a draw against Orlando on Wednesday despite Scott Arfield receiving a red card in the 38th minute. The 52 minutes playing a man down were the longest by a team that avoided defeat in an MLS match in over two years, since the Houston Dynamo against Nashville SC in May 2022 (55 minutes).

    Dean Smith's team have lost only one of its last nine matches (W5 D3) dating back to the beginning of May, one of six teams with fewer than two defeats in that time (Real Salt Lake, FC Cincinnati, Inter Miami, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC).

    Philadelphia have won only one of its last 12 matches (D5 L6) including losing the last two in a row. The Union have not lost three straight regular-season matches within a single season since May 2017.

    However, they are backed to win this one by Opta's model.


    Philadelphia Union - 50.7%

    Charlotte - 24.3%

    Draw - 25%

  • Romeu named new head coach of Barcelona Femeni Romeu named new head coach of Barcelona Femeni

    Barcelona have announced Pere Romeu as their new head coach following Jonatan Giraldez's departure.

    Romeu, who was an assistant coach at the club in the last three seasons, has signed a two-year contract until 2026.

    The 30-year-old takes over following a successful season for Barcelona in which they won the quadruple, lifting the Champions League, Liga F, Copa de la Reina and the Supercopa de Espana Femenia.

    Giraldez had confirmed in December 2023 that he would be leaving the club at the end of the campaign, and it was announced in January he would be joining NWSL club Washington Spirit.

    "I have been with the team for three seasons, and I know their day-to-day life. I'm 100 per cent ready," Romeu said in his first interview as head coach.

    Romeu coached in Barcelona men's youth set-up between 2017 and 2020 before joining Romanian side Viitorul Constanta as an assistant coach before making the move back to Catalonia to join Barcelona Femeni in 2021.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.