Pep Guardiola addressed the press on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s big Premier League clash with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
The City boss sounded wary about Sunday’s clash after Arsenal rested their regulars in the Europa League on Thursday night. He is hoping the home support can help a City side that may lack energy.
“Against Arsenal, it is complicated. Hopefully, we will have recovered well from Napoli and will put in a performance for our fans.
“We need our fans support on Sunday. We will lack a bit of energy, which is normal for the Champions League.”
Record-breaker Sergio Aguero enjoyed a historic night in Naples on Wednesday and Pep commented on Kun as well as his relationship with Gabriel Jesus.
“He was focused on winning – what he had to do. He has to be so proud for what he has done and for his family.
“They (Aguero and Jesus) can play together. To have space, sometimes it’s better to have two wide players.”
The media tried to get Pep’s thoughts on a renewed move for Alexis Sanchez, but the Catalan refused to give anything away and shut them down.
“He’s an Arsenal player. His manager has to speak about him. The transfer window is closed.”
On the topic of extending his contract, Pep sounded relaxed.
“I am comfortable here since the beginning. It is not a big issue.”
As always, the topic of Vincent Kompany was raised and Guardiola offered nothing new, saying he hopes the club captain can train again after the international break.
“He cannot be with the national team. He is two months injured. He will stay here and hopefully start training.”
In Vinny’s absence, ‘Stonesamendi’ have formed an excellent partnership in the heart of City’s defence, something Pep recognised.
“They have played almost all games and they have played a high level and done really well. It is amazing.”
Like Stones and Otamendi, Raheem Sterling is also evolving as a player under Pep Guardiola, with goals and assists aplenty this season. Pep commented on the improvement of Raz.
“He’s enjoying scoring goals. He isn’t afraid to take a risk. He realises how fun it is to score goals; how good it is.”
Antonio Conte said Manchester City are a “problem” for any team hoping to fight for the title. Pep didn’t take the bait and with the help of assembled journalists, did the maths.
“There are 84 points to play for. If we play like we have until May, we have a chance but who can assure me that will happen?”
Finally, is Pep satisfied with the Manchester City squad? Yes, but he knows the dangers of standing still and confirmed that there will be new signings next summer – although not on the scale of last summer.
“Next season we’ll need to shake up the team again. Not like this season. We’re going to analyse well and try to buy the right players.”
Sergio Aguero became Manchester City’s all-time record goalscorer with his goal against Napoli.
The City Store has celebrated his achievement by releasing a new range! Check it out!