'Ill-mannered' Pep Guardiola clashes with BBC again
Man City boss not alone in treating media with contempt - but critics say managers should remember who bankrolls the league
Pep Guardiola's media appearances are becoming increasingly agitated and he gave another awkward interview to the BBC after Manchester City drew 2-2 with Spurs at the weekend.
Reporter Guy Mowbray's first question to the manager was about his side's penalty claims shortly before Tottenham's equaliser. But Guardiola was unimpressed, telling the reporter that the BBC had "prestige" and should ask him about the football rather than the referee.
He also grew exasperated when Mowbray asked if he was happy with his team's intensity: "You like intensity," he said. "I like to play good football."
Guardiola's latest confrontation with the media has attracted plenty of coverage in Spain and made the headlines in Marca and other sports websites.
Nor has it gone unnoticed in the UK. Alan Shearer, writing in The Sun, says: "Guardiola is cutting a very angry, frustrated and agitated figure. When the media becomes the target of your ire off the pitch, you know things aren't working well on it."
It just won't do, says Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph. "The three Premier League broadcasters should give serious consideration to registering a formal complaint to the Premier League and LMA, given how ill-mannered some managers have become.
"They have not paid all that cash to have their employees insulted by those who consider media duties beneath them.
He adds that "Guardiola's on safe ground", saying: "Responding contemptuously to anyone who dares ask a celebrated manager a reasonable question will win more approval than objection from supporters. A reporter would probably need to be beaten over the head with his or her microphone to get a smidgen of sympathy, and even that would be grudging.
"But he is misdirecting his ire. With great Premier League wealth comes great irritability. If you do not like it, tell your bosses to stop agreeing these lucrative conditions with the TV crews."
Guardiola dismisses retirement talk and a Barcelona return
After days of speculation over his future at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has said it had been "inappropriate" of him to talk about retirement and insisted he was happy in England and at the Etihad.
The Citizens' boss appeared before the media for the first time since his team's win against Burnley on Monday - and he was "in a much better mood", reports the Manchester Evening News.
That was very different from a recent interview with US broadcaster NBC, during which Guardiola made it clear he was looking forward to retirement and appeared to suggest City were below the level of other clubs.
He then compounded matters with a series of uncomfortable appearances in front of the press following the Burnley clash.
But speaking ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with West Ham on Friday, Guardiola "moved to clarify remarks... which led to speculation that the Manchester City manager might be disillusioned in England and was already thinking about retirement", says The Guardian.
Discussing his NBC appearance, he said: "I said in the interview that I will not train at 60 - but guys, I am 45. I'm not going to retire in two or three years."
But he added: "Maybe it was inappropriate to say I am starting to say goodbye."
Guardiola also apologised for making what appeared to be unfavourable comparisons between City and rivals including Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but insisted he never said his team were below them.
"In the last five or six years, Manchester City are one of the best in the world and have become a strong team," he said. "But in terms of titles we are behind those clubs in the last 20 years... We are going to fight to the end of the season for the title."
He also moved to explain his post-match demeanour on Monday, saying he was "too demanding" but that he was proud of his players winning despite having a man sent off.
However, while he has built his bridges with Man City, could Guardiola have put the cat among the pigeons at his old haunt the Camp Nou?
Ex-England boss Fabio Capello claimed this week that Barcelona's former manager wanted to become club president.
Dismissing the idea, Guardiola claimed another Barca legend was in line for the role, reports Spanish website Sport. "I tell [Capello] I will never be the president of Barcelona," he said. "That's for Gerard Pique."
Pep Guardiola 'dislikes England' and is losing friends fast
Pep Guardiola may be running out of friends in both the press box and the stands after his performance in front of the media following Manchester City's game against Burnley on Monday.
City won the game, but Guardiola was far from happy after seeing his side reduced to ten men, with Fernandinho sent off for the third time this season, and a Burnley goal allowed to stand after what he believed was a foul on his goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo.
The Spanish coach was sarcastic and monosyllabic in front of both the TV cameras and the written press, an attitude Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail describes as "unedifying".
Guardiola had a right to be grumpy, says the journalist, but there was more to it: "There was a sneer, a hint of contempt in Guardiola's voice for his questioners and what they represented. English football. Crude, unsophisticated English football. Physicality in the six-yard box, second balls in midfield, Christmas fixtures, tackles, tired minds, tired bodies."
It made him look "churlish and childish", he adds, "and for a man who has been treated with little less than awe since his arrival it did him few favours".
The Premier League offers a "unique challenge" and that is why Guardiola came, continues Samuel: "What did he think? That it was all like playing Arsenal every week? That he could buy a goalkeeper who was not strong in the air and it would make no difference?"
Guardiola's attitude betrays his "deep resentment" to the way he is viewed in England, says Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph, adding: "His obvious fury at being lectured suggests not only a thin skin but a tendency to hide behind his artistic manifesto rather than confront the evidence."
However, says Hayward, his complaints cannot pass unchallenged. "City are not the only team in England who 'try to play football'. Chelsea have been symphonic at times in their run of 13 wins. Liverpool's attacking is fluid and exciting. Arsenal are hardly cavemen either. No wonder there is chafing against this notion of Guardiola as missionary, moving among lesser men and asking a whole league to bend to his ways."
Paul Wilson of The Guardian feels Guardiola "is not enjoying England and that is beginning to show". After the Burnley game, "the manager's dissatisfaction with just about everything English was plain to see", he adds.
But there could be a deeper problem: "City's players seem in some way resistant to Guardiola's ideas and influence. This group of players do their own thing, often to the evident frustration of the manager on the sidelines."
Guardiola has also become frustrated with the fans and could be seen trying to rouse them at the Etihad on Monday. But Sam Lee of Goal.com fears he may be losing the supporters and that "all is not rosy" in the blue half of Manchester.
"It is clear many supporters are far from convinced about several players or perhaps even the style in which they are being asked to play," he says. Guardiola "has fewer backers than he did in the summer" adds Lee, and it is clear that applies across the board.
Guardiola shows the strain as Man City see red again
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola does not appear to have enjoyed his first Christmas in English football.
Defeat to Liverpool on New Year's Eve dented his side's title ambitions and victory over Burnley on Monday came at a cost as Fernandinho was sent off for the third time this season.
Guardiola "struggled to hide the strain of his turbulent start in English football" after the game , says the Daily Telegraph, giving an unusual interview to the BBC in which he claimed his side were being singled out by officials and suggested his style of football was at odds with the English game.
The former Barcelona coach "showed signs that the pressure of managing in the Premier League is taking its toll on him", agrees The Times.
"Guardiola responded sarcastically and abruptly to a number of questions following yesterday's win," adds the paper. "The City head coach cut a tense figure when he was asked about the performance of [referee Lee] Mason, who did not hesitate in dismissing Fernandinho for a reckless lunge. It was the seventh red card offence of the season for City."
To make matters worse for fans, rumours concerning Guardiola's future have begun to circulate. Although he only arrived at the Etihad in the summer, the "angry" coach "has confirmed that Manchester City could be his last managerial job", the Daily Mail reports.
The claim is based on an interview with NBC, aired before the Burnley game, in which Guardiola said: "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 the process of my goodbye has already started."
That story only served to "compound the mood of anger and fatalism that surrounded Guardiola" after the match, says The Independent, which notes that he now faces being without another key midfielder for four matches.
"In a terse and awkward press conference, Guardiola... seemed to argue that the world and especially the world of Premier League football, was ganging up against Manchester City," adds the paper.