It was another difficult evening for Pep Guardiola against Manchester United on Saturday.
The Citizens lost 2-1 to their city rivals at the Etihad Stadium. Whilst that in itself is worrying for the former Barcelona manager, it now means they are 14 points behind title rivals Liverpool, who top the Premier League. At this rate, the title race could be over for them by the start of the New Year.
It seemed that the defeat got to the 48-year-old. After the match, he appeared to throw in the towel in regards to his team’s title challenge, saying: “[Manchester] United have the quality to defend and the quality to attack on the counter-attack and you have to accept that.
“That is the level we face against Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus. They are the teams we have to face and the reality is maybe we are not able now to compete with them.
“Maybe we need to live that as a club to improve, to accept the reality now and improve.”
The Liverpool fans have not held back in their assessment of the manager.
Man manager, manager of the decade, best in the world, tactical revolutionary Pep Guardiola just said the most expensive team in sports history can’t compete with a United team in their banter era. Fraud, and not just any fraud, bald fraud; the worst kind of fraud there is. https://t.co/UF4a1jPng7
— An (@RoyalANfield) December 9, 2019
It certainly is surprising that he would come out with such words in December, with more than half of the campaign left. But calling him a fraud is a little much. After all, he has won two Premier League titles back-to-back and picked up 198 points across the two campaigns. Not too bad.
Some Reds supporters think he is just desperate for more money.
It’s his way of crying to the owners that he needs to buy more players. He’s just like Mourinho has to buy a team not coach a team.
— Stephen Brier (@brier_stephen) December 9, 2019
Wants more money
— Doc (@cjdoc) December 9, 2019
Guardiola: “we might not be able to compete with top teams”
Google translate : I want more money to spend
— MIKE D (@MDoc72) December 8, 2019
It is rather incredible that he would feel he needs more cash. This Man City team is the most expensively-assembled squad in football, and they spent £151.20m according to Transfermarket in the past transfer window.
Other fans, meanwhile, are sure it means he will soon be out of the door.
Head’s completely gone. He’s off 😄 pic.twitter.com/hdVZsbg1WD
— 🏆🏆🏆HYP🏆🏆🏆 (@hamishpotts) December 9, 2019
Clearly struggling with someone doing better than him. He’s Man City days are coming to an end.
— ShyGuyC (@Kopkingw14) December 9, 2019
It remains to be seen whether that is the case. But with his longest spell with one club being four years, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that he would soon call it a day in Manchester.
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One fan – perhaps the wisest of them all – suggested the Reds should ignore his comments and concentrate on themselves.
Don’t care about what he said, we just focus on getting 3 points for each game. We will lift the trophy near April 🏆
— Chen (@Schen0815) December 9, 2019
If they continue in this current vein of form, winning the title so early seems very likely.
Meanwhile, this 34-goal striker has suggested he wants a move to Liverpool.