Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has stated that he could call it a day from the game very soon.
After losing 1-0 to Liverpool on New Year’s eve, Manchester City showed incredible character and resilience to bounce back and pick up the three points against newly-promoted Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
Gael Clichy proved to be the unlikely hero as he chipped in with a goal in the 58th minute to break the deadlock. Moments later, Sergio Aguero doubled the home side’s advantage and all but secured the win for them. Ben Mee’s 70th minute strike proved to be nothing more than a consolation as the Citizens picked up the all important three points
The game was marred by controversy as City midfielder Fernandinho was sent off in the 33rd minute for a reckless challenge on Johan Gudmundsson. This was the Brazilian’s third red card in his last six appearances.
However, manager Pep Guardiola appeared to remain unfazed by the player’s disciplinary record, and instead hit out at referee Lee Mason for not calling the foul made on City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo that led to Burnley’s goal
“It is always our fault [foul], it’s always City’s fault,” Guardiola said. “All around the world, it’s a fault on the goalkeeper in the box. Not here. I have to understand that. It’s a fault on Claudio Bravo.
“OK, so I have to adapt and I have to understand there are special rules here in England. Now I learn, so now we’re going to play.”
At the end of Guardiola’s press conference, he was questioned about his thoughts on calling it a day from football and opting for an early retirement. Prior to the game, the former Barcelona and Bayern boss told NBC Sports that he could end his career within the next few years.
Goal quoted him as saying: “I will be at Manchester for the next three seasons, maybe more, but I am arriving at the end of my coaching career, of this I am sure. I will not be on the bench until I am 60 or 65 years old. I feel that the process of my goodbye has already started.”
After enjoying a flying start to life in the Premier League, Guardiola is struggling to instill his philosophies on his players. While he remains adamant of playing in a certain manner, the City players are failing to understand what is expected from them.
The Citizens have lost three of their last seven games in England’s top flight and are on the cusp of being excluded from the title picture. Guardiola needs his players to show an added positivity and go on a run like they did at the start of the season.