Pep Guardiola was happy to declare openly his objections to Manchester City’s involvement in the discredited European Super League since he had previously discussed his views with the club’s executive.
On Tuesday Guardiola was critical of the ESL, saying: “It is not a sport when it doesn’t matter where you lose.” City were one of 15 clubs who would have been guaranteed a place each year in the now-collapsed tournament and the manager made it clear the club was wrong to sign up to the plan.
“It was not difficult because before I make a statement we spoke about that, and they completely agree, and that’s why I tell you,” he said. “I love this club – I love Ferran [Soriano, chief executive], Txiki [Begiristain, sporting director], Khaldoon [al-Mubarak, chairman] and [all] the people who work in the club – we work together.
“Since I arrived here we were all together in all the decisions. I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes – the guys who take decisions make mistakes, the guys who are sitting and judging what the others do make mistakes. Sometimes you are wrong. What’s the problem [if we make a mistake]? We react and we apologise and move forward.”
Guardiola’s side face Tottenham in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final and he admits the season’s relentlessness has left him feeling jaded.
“I am not fresh, believe me,” he said. “But I am so excited because we arrive [at Wembley] and we have qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League, a competition where this club has struggled for the last few years. The day after we did so, flying back here and having a glass of wine on the plane, I was enjoying the moment but also had to think about Chelsea [who City lost to in the FA Cup semi-final]. But it’s our job, I am not complaining.
“If I don’t want this I would resign. Of course I’d love a freer calendar and more time but at the same time I am not complaining. It is what it is: go, go, go. A lot of people, a lot of managers, are struggling to have a job. So I will not pretend that I am complaining.
“It demands a lot of us to win and win and win, especially the players, who have to deliver. It’s so difficult and we’d love to enjoy more time with our families but we go, go, go. But it’s a pleasure to be in the final on Sunday, to go to Paris in the semi-final of the Champions League [to play Paris Saint-Germain]. But fresh and relaxed? Absolutely not. I have never lived a year like this.”