This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s clash with Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday, Pep Guardiola has hit back at Jurgen Klopp’s comments on the club’s spending and insisted that it’s simply “not true”.
Klopp suggested earlier in July that Liverpool have less money to spend in the summer transfer window because they don’t live in a “fantasia land where you get whatever you want”.
Now, Guardiola has rejected his managerial counterpart’s claims and admitted that the German’s comments had “bothered” him.
He said (as quoted by Sky Sports): “Yeah it bothers me because it is not true that we have spent £200m every transfer market. Also it’s Liverpool – ‘you’ll never walk alone’ – it’s not a small team. Of course I don’t like it because it’s not true. Last season we spent (net) £17m on just one player.
“Two seasons ago when I spent a lot, it’s because I took over the team with 10 or 11 players over the age of 30 – you have to (replace them). But we can’t spend £200m every season. For example, Liverpool spent over £200m last season, and they can’t do it this season. For us it is the same. We bought one player this season and then Angelino with a buy-back clause. Today the clubs cannot spend every season a lot of money.”
And so it begins. The new season is well and truly upon us and it appears the Premier League’s top titans have decided to start the customary psychological warfare rather early. Klopp’s comments were certainly designed to get under the skin of Guardiola and City, who have been plagued by claims that they have simply bought their way to success.
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In pointing back to how Liverpool spent heavily last summer, the Spaniard seemed quite adamant to try and paint a clearer picture of the two sides. Whilst City have undeniably spent big in recent seasons, it by no means implies that Klopp’s side have just sat by the side-lines twiddling their thumbs.
As the pre-cursor to the beginning of the Premier League campaign, the Community Shield is likely to be a tasty affair after Guardiola and Klopp’s jibes.