Pep Guardiola insists it’s his job to stop complacency creeping in at Manchester City

‘If I lose the team I can’t be here’: Pep Guardiola will NOT stay at Man City if he can’t motivate his players but understands ‘how they feel’ after spotting signs of complacency – in the face of it , as he experienced the same thing as a Barcelona player

Pep Guardiola’s infamous rant about Manchester City’s lack of fire was based on personal experience of Barcelona players – and he has been warned he can only work with players who show the right attitude.

Guardiola, who met with City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak just minutes after calling out his team after a 4-2 comeback win over Spurs, noted signs of complacency similar to those seen in his Barca team as players when they dominated Spanish football in the 1990s.

“I’ve won four league titles in a row in Spain and the fifth wasn’t the same. I wasn’t starving enough – too much caviar!” said the City boss.

Pep Guardiola has inflamed his players and Manchester City fans despite their 4-2 win over Tottenham on Thursday night

Pep Guardiola has inflamed his players and Manchester City fans despite their 4-2 win over Tottenham on Thursday night

“Real Madrid beat us in La Liga this year. I understand how my players are feeling, but I’m here to stop it. The chairman knows that. I want to be here or I wouldn’t have signed (a new contract earlier this season) but if I lose the team I lose something. I can’t be here

“There’s no denying how well we’ve done it, the consistency of playing at this good level and making Premier League history. But that’s in the past, it’s here now.

“The club has to move forward. Those goals, which we gave away like the second against Manchester United, are unacceptable. Our fans want the second half of the season against the Spurs more often. We have to do that.’

Interestingly, Guardiola has spared Jack Grealish, Nathan Ake, Julian Alvarez and Manuel Akanji from criticism. They’re relatively new at the Etihad and he believes their intensity has been better than series winners Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo, who have been left out in recent games.

Guardiola spared Jack Grealish, Nathan Ake, Julian Alvarez and Manuel Akanji from criticism

Guardiola spared Jack Grealish, Nathan Ake, Julian Alvarez and Manuel Akanji from criticism

City Trail leaders Arsenal five points clear with both clubs in action today. Still, Guardiola insists he has no regrets about Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko joining The Gunners in the summer and says they wanted to leave.

‘No regret. Of course it was difficult for Gabriel to get Erling Haaland in, but it happens and it was a good deal.

City meet Wolves, first knowing a win would close the gap on Arsenal to two points, while Mikel Arteta’s men take on Manchester United later in the afternoon.

Guardiola insists he has no regrets about letting Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko join Arsenal

Guardiola insists he has no regrets about letting Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko join Arsenal

Guardiola wants City to show Arsenal courage. “Look at how they defend in the penalty area, celebrate a goal, look and communicate with each other. This is football and we don’t have it.’

The Spaniard caused a stir with his post-game comments despite the Spurs win.

“We lacked the passion, the desire to win from minute one,” he said. “The same goes for our viewers. You’re so quiet for 45 minutes.’

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Maureen Mackey

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