Pep Guardiola expresses regret to Kalvin Phillips for his comment about his weight.

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Pep Guardiola has recently apologized to Kalvin Phillips for his previous comment about the player’s weight upon returning from the World Cup with England in December 2022.

The midfielder is currently under contract with Manchester City, but recently accepted a temporary transfer to West Ham until the end of the season. This decision was made after only starting two games in the past 18 months at the Etihad Stadium. Unfortunately, Phillips has not had a successful start with his new team, as he made two costly mistakes resulting in goals. He was also given a red card in their 2-0 loss to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

In an interview this month, Phillips acknowledged that Guardiola’s remarks greatly affected his self-confidence. He also shared that his family was particularly upset by the backlash that followed. The 28-year-old stated, “He was justified in his actions, but there were alternative approaches.” Phillips explained that it was simply a misunderstanding and believes that Guardiola was frustrated with him being 1.5kg over his weight goal upon returning.

During a press conference prior to City’s Premier League match against Brentford on Tuesday, Guardiola expressed regret for his previous statement. He apologized and admitted to speaking with the player beforehand.

In July 2022, Phillips was signed by City from Leeds for £42m. He had previously been a consistent member of Gareth Southgate’s England team, but faced difficulties after joining Manchester.

Rodri tended to occupy the position in which Phillips thrived at Leeds and when City further bolstered their midfield with deals for Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes from Chelsea and Wolves respectively last summer, the writing appeared to be on the wall. Phillips was linked with Newcastle and Juventus before eventually sealing the loan to West Ham.

Guardiola stated that Manchester City is facing the same amount of pressure as always, even though they had a 1-1 draw at home against Chelsea and their title competitors Liverpool and Arsenal had impressive victories. City is currently four points behind Jürgen Klopp’s team, but they have one game left to catch up.

“We have a chance to move up to second place, surpassing Arsenal by one point and closing in on Liverpool. And with many games still left to play,” stated Guardiola. “The truth is, since our loss to Aston Villa, we have not lost a single game and even in the games we drew, we performed better.”

“When we are victorious in our upcoming game, we will face the same level of pressure. In the previous 15 games, we emerged victorious in 13 and tied in two, with the intention of winning each game we tied. The pressure remains consistent, with no variance.”

“Is it possible for us to become the winners of the Premier League? I am unsure. Will Manchester City dominate the Premier League for the next decade? No, that is unlikely to occur. However, we are still in the running and that is why we are persevering. While we are not pleased with the outcome of our game against Chelsea, it is simply a part of the sport and we must remember that we do not play alone. Our performance was commendable, although we did not have many opportunities, there were more in the second half compared to the first. We must continue to improve and maintain focus if we want to remain contenders for the title. As the team’s coach, I am determined to demand a consistent performance from my players for the entire 95 minutes.”

Guardiola confirmed the Brentford match would come too soon for Jack Grealish and Josko Gvardiol, who are out injured, but he otherwise has a fully fit squad to select from. The reigning champions won the reverse fixture 3-1 earlier this month thanks to a Phil Foden hat-trick.


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