Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football

Guardiola has wine at the ready

By Ian Herbert

Published 10/09/2016

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola admitted that his relationship with Jose Mourinho had been "not good" in Spain but insisted he would drink wine with him at Old Trafford today if invited.

The Manchester City manager said that he and his rival, whose relationship has been toxic at times since Guardiola beat him to the Barcelona manager's job, had experienced a diplomatic and civil encounter with each at a recent meeting of Premier League managers.

"He was my coach, my assistant coach with Sir Bobby Robson," Guardiola said when it was put to him that the pair never seem capable even of eye contact.

"We met each other two or three weeks ago in the Premier League managers meeting and we spoke fluently with Ronald Koeman, with Tony Pulis so it was okay."

The only manager Guardiola took issue with in his press conference discussion of today's derby was Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, who has said that the result of the Old Traffrod game will have a psychological effect.

"No," said Guardiola. "Sorry Arsene. The impact psychologically is after we wake up and prepare for Borussia Monchengladbach (in the Champions League on Tuesday).

"It is the fourth game in the Premier League. The players are so professional. There is a lot of experience in both teams. They handle the good emotions when you win."

Guardiola said that new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo would definitely make his debut in the intense derby atmosphere and held out more prospect of Leroy Sane starting than Ilkay Gundogan, though was positive about the fitness of both. Vincent Kompany will not play. Sane may start in place of suspended Sergio Aguero.

United's Zlatan Ibrahimovich has been most vocally negative about Guardiola, caricaturing him as controlling.

But Guardiola said: "I have a lot of respect for Zlatan and what he has done in the football world and his career. He has had a big impact in what he did everywhere and he is amazing, especially on the pitch. I have a lot of respect for him, what he has done for football."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph