Guardiola Apologises to Kalvin Phillips: Ahead of his infamous 4-match winless run, the footballing world has been buzzing about Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City’s recent form. In his pre-match conference, Pep Guardiola discussed multiple issues including a heartfelt apology to Kalvin Phillips for the undeserving treatment he received from the City boss.
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Pep Guardiola Apologizes to Kalvin Phillips
In the pre-match conference, Pep said:
“I feel so sorry for my decision for him. I’ve said that many times. He doesn’t deserve what has happened to him and I’m so sorry.”
The apology seemed to be sincere and honest, however, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Kalvin Phillips might be leaving Manchester City in the next transfer window. In the loss at Villa Park, Manchester City were surprisingly dominated against Unai Emery’s Aston Villa. Despite having Kalvin Phillips fit on the bench and Rodri suspended, Guardiola played centre-backs Manuel Akanji and John Stones as his midfield 2. John Stones has been turned into a hybrid midfielder over the course of 2023 but Kalvin Phillips, a natural midfielder hasn’t been offered a spot in the starting 11.
How Much Did Kalvin Phillips Cost Man City?
Kalvin Phillips arrived at the club in July 2022 for a sizable €49.00m. An extremely strong and technically sound midfielder who had a respectful stint at Leeds United under the iconic Marcelo Bielsa. After signing for Premier League champions Manchester City he was expected to take his game to the next level under Pep Guardiola. However, since joining, he has started in a measly 5 matches for the club, and only 2 of those in the Premier League, and none in the Champions League.
Guardiola said in the press conference, “It’s just because I visualize some things and visualize the team and things – and I struggle to see him.”
Guardiola Apologises to Kalvin Phillips
Pep Guardiola apologized to Kalvin Phillips saying, “I’m not very pleased [with myself] and I am so sorry for him. I will not say that [to him] because it is a business and I have to be a professional.”
Pep Guardiola’s recent signings and past gambles
Although Pep Guardiola is known for improving players and playing some of the most bedazzling football in the modern era, there have been few notable instances where the stones were slippery.
The most popular missteps have been Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Yaya Toure, and Mario Götze. Players like Danilo, Shaqiri, Nolito, Claudio Bravo, and Ferran Torres didn’t fulfill expectations either.
Pep’s recent signings of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and Matheus Nunes from Wolves have been on the radar as well. Kovacic has started 6 games in the Premier League and 2 in the Champions League, but hasn’t quite melded with the fluid system of Man City.
€62.00m for Matheus Nunes has made him one of the most expensive players at the club, but he has only started 4 games in the Premier League and hasn’t seemed very comfortable.
Although this is not to say that Kovacic and Nunes won’t find a spot in the 11, they just seem to not have found their rhythm to get going under Pep Guardiola who is more often than not ruthless with his team selection. And once Kevin de Bruyne is back, it might be difficult for these new players to fit into the team and contribute significantly towards the business end of the season.
What is the future for Kalvin Phillips?
Pep Guardiola apologized to Kalvin Phillips for the lack of game time but he also praised Kalvin for his professionalism.
He said, “The only thing I can say about him is I am asking for good personalities and characters and he is a perfect example. And after that, I have to give him something and I didn’t do that.”
Hence, the future for Kalvin seems to be bright. He is 28 and has a lot of football in him. Despite not having played enough on match days, he has still trained under Guardiola which is likely to have helped him improve as a player. We will keep track of the new turns Kalvin takes in his career. Guardiola has great respect for Kalvin and has welcomed him to stay if he is willing to.
Although he is most probably going to leave in the winter transfer window this January.
Guardiola’s Manchester City are not in the position they’d want to be in, but they have been in this position before and have silenced their critics almost every time. However, it is interesting that this might be the first time in a while that there are not just 2 but 3 title contenders for the Premier League – Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City.
Guardiola’s tactical acumen and competitive spirit will be tested. Also, given the demanding schedule of both club and country, and potential injuries, there’s a chance Kalvin might stay and turn around his situation, but only time will tell.