A Manchester City player sidelined for a tactical conversation with Pep Guardiola during a game is a fairly common thing – some are quite heated, however.
Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez were the subject of heated discussion from their manager during City’s last outing, a 6-3 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
“It was just defensive work,” Grealish said after the game. “I won’t go into too much detail because he might want the same tactics for the weekend.
“That’s how the manager is, he always wants more defensively and offensively. He’s someone I’m going to listen to after everything he’s done in the game. He’s obviously just handing out useful information.
Guardiola added: “We talked at halftime about how we have to do it and they didn’t. There are fights going on.
“They’re so good, they make four players to pull you behind midfielders where there aren’t a lot of players, where the ball comes out and they’re so quick when they attack from behind.
“It’s not easy to control it, but when you get that ball back there are a lot of players in front of the ball and in the transition to make a pass or two behind you have a chance to attack.”
It’s not just his own players who may be at their wit’s end for Guardiola, who once had strong words for Nathan Redmond during Manchester City’s home clash against Southampton in November 2017.
Redmond led the line for the Saints, who smothered City as the game went scoreless at halftime.
The visitors offered little future, and while Guardiola seemed confrontational, he was actually praising Redmond, insisting the player had the quality to cause trouble for City defenders.
Redmond said after the game: “[Guardiola] commented on my qualities as a young English player and how we wanted me to attack his team more during the game, similar to last season.
“I told him I was doing what my manager asked me to do in the game. That’s it. No more no less. Nothing negative or offensive has been said about me from Pep and that’s what makes him one of the best managers in world football.
SPECIAL BET – GET CRISTIANO RONALDO TO SCORE AGAINST WEST HAM ANYTIME AT 30/1
He revealed in 2020 that Guardiola contacted him shortly after the incident and apologized.
Redmond told Sky Sports: “A few days later everything is going crazy in the media, his people contacted my agent and he just wanted to have a conversation on the phone.
“He said ‘I apologize for everything that’s going on and I don’t want anything to be on good terms between us.’
“I was like ‘that’s totally fine, I understand where you’re coming from and I know how the media can exaggerate it.’ It was a nice touch from him.
City will entertain Southampton on Saturday and you can imagine Ralph Hasenhuttl will take a similar approach to the one the team tried that night.
So don’t again rule out yet another heavily worded pep talk for Redmond.
Download talkSPORT Edge NOW!
It’s the free soccer app that lets you stay one step ahead of your friends with short, to the point, and shareable content.