Manchester (VG) Pep Guardiola (52 years old) is already screaming warnings about the injury situation and the difficult fixture schedule. But in the midst of the seriousness of the controversy over Wednesday’s League Cup tie, it took time to crack a biting joke.
– If my back improves, it will probably take a few minutes, says the Manchester City manager.
More recently, Guardiola joked about inserting himself into the team when, after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest, he was asked about the League Cup tie against Newcastle away at St James’ Park.
Erling’s boss Braut Haaland smiled slightly after his response. The journalists also laughed and laughed. But there was greater seriousness behind what ended a long debate over the match schedule and injuries.
– Those who played a lot will not play much against Newcastle. naturally. The League Cup is ideal when the entire team is available at the start of the season. When you can use band width. Those who don’t play regularly get their minutes.
-But if you have many injuries…
The Spaniard left the sentence hanging in the air for a bit. Before, Kevin De Bruyne has been suffering from a long-term injury.
In recent weeks, centre-back John Stones and winger Bernardo Silva have followed the Belgian to the treatment room.
Mateo Kovacic says he is training with the team on Monday for the first time in a long time. Jack Grealish can finally be used after being out for a short period.
– I do not waste one percent of my energy on the League Cup. Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias, playing 90 minutes for their national teams and for us. They are already exhausted. We can’t lose them.
– We play (against Newcastle) with people who need it. Maybe there will be someone from the academy, says Guardiola – who could give Norway Under-21 international Oscar Pope new minutes.
Henry Winter smiles when he hears Guardiola’s bluff that he is not spending his energy on the League Cup.
– but he keeps winning it, the Times’s chief football writer tells VG.
It is considered that City – under Guardiola’s leadership – won the cup four times in seven seasons.
– Obviously there are new managers who really want to win it. Ten Hag (at Manchester United last season) was worried about that last season, and Jose Mourinho wanted that when he came to England. But it’s actually very important.
– Because it is the first piece of silver you can win this season. With squads as big as they are now, he could put a very good second-row player on the pitch against Newcastle.
Winter believes that even if Kevin De Bruyne or Jack Grealish do not play, he believes Guardiola will bring in Phil Foden or new signing Jeremy Doku.
– He has a good team, and he is a great manager. So I’m a bit skeptical when managers say such things in a press conference. He wants to win that fight. He will continue the flow they have achieved (six wins in six league matches).
– It will make the city invincible. He commented that the team he will play in the League Cup will be strong.
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