Pep Guardiola reveals he had concerns over Man City’s standards this season


Pep Guardiola says Man City’s shock Carabao Cup defeat by Southampton ‘didn’t surprise me’, admitting he had concerns their standards would slip after recent trophy-laden campaigns

  • Pep Guardiola insists he had concerns that Man City’s standards could drop off
  • City crashed out of the Carabao Cup to strugglers Southampton in mid-week
  • The defeat led to  Ilkay Gundogan questioning the hunger and desire at City
  • Guardiola’s City will now face rivals Manchester United in the Premier League

Pep Guardiola said he had concerns at the start of the season that Manchester City’s standards could drop after their run of unprecedented run of success.

The Blues crashed out of the Carabao Cup to the Premier League’s bottom club Southampton in midweek, with a poor display that led to midfielder Ilkay Gundogan questioning the hunger and desire in the squad.

That defeat was the worst possible preparation for City’s trip across town for the derby against resurgent Manchester United tomorrow.

Pep Guardiola said he had concerns that Manchester City’s standards could drop this season

Guardiola said he had an inkling that things might not be right ahead of the campaign, with the club’s trophy haul – they have also won six of the last nine League Cups – to blame for the slackening off.

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‘What happened didn’t surprise me,’ said Guardiola, asked about the Southampton debacle.

‘I tried to avoid it, it happened and hopefully it won’t happen again, but it’s happened because we did four Premier Leagues in five years. Sometimes you have to reset.

The Blues crashed out of the Carabao Cup to the Premier League's bottom club Southampton

The Blues crashed out of the Carabao Cup to the Premier League’s bottom club Southampton

‘The Carabao Cup showed me exactly, in terms of consistency that we are able to do it. This was our strength as a team in previous seasons, but after back to back (wins) two times, this can happen.

‘We were not ready to go there and be ourselves. I’m not talking about winning the Carabao Cup, or winning games, it’s be ourselves and behave how we have to do in every single game.

‘I was a little bit concerned at the beginning of the season that it could happen, and unfortunately it happened, I don’t know if it will happen again but we will try to do it.’

Guardiola believes the club's trophy haul is to blame for slackening off so far this campaign

Guardiola believes the club’s trophy haul is to blame for slackening off so far this campaign

Guardiola said that United are a real threat after closing the gap between the two teams to just four points following their 6-3 hammering at the Etihad Stadium in October.

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‘They were close, what happened in previous seasons, it’s United’s problems,’ he said.

‘Now it’s normal United are there, four points behind, still fighting. They’ll be there – for me, is it a surprise? No, that’s why this competition is so difficult.’

Man United were humiliated by their rivals City in a 6-3 thrashing at the Etihad back in October

Man United were humiliated by their rivals City in a 6-3 thrashing at the Etihad back in October

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