Micah Richards labelled Pep Guardiola’s post-match interview following his side’s victory over Tottenham ‘scathing’ after the Manchester City boss took aim at his players and supporters.
Manchester City came from two goals down at half-time to win 4-2, though Guardiola was still left unimpressed by his side’s performance after the final whistle.
Guardiola attacked his players and – specifically – the club’s home support for their lack of ‘passion’ and ‘fire’ after watching his side again toil in a Premier League game in front of what he perceived to be a rather flat Etihad.
Micah Richards labelled Pep Guardiola’s interview ‘scathing’ and suggested it showed a man at the end of his tether
Asked about the merits of his interview and whether there were tactics within it to try and galvanise the club and the supporters, who perhaps have become accustomed to success, Richards said it had the air of a manager who had grown frustrated at the lack of satisfaction at their achievements.
‘It was scathing, that wasn’t it? His interviews are normally very sarcastic, today he came out and… it was almost as if he was saying he’d had enough of the situation of producing something so good, but nobody seems to be satisfied,’ he said.
‘We talked about the level and the standards and the desire, of not just the players. When you start going and talking about the fans and stuff it’s a difficult situation.
Boss Pep Guardiola could not hide his anger at Manchester City ‘s players and supporters
Manchester City pulled off a fantastic comeback to seal a 4-2 victory over Tottenham
The City players were booed off at half-time after trailing 2-0 to Spurs at the Etihad Stadium
Tottenham scored two quick-fire goals to go in at the break two goals to the good – though City rallied
‘When the fans boo, it’s never acceptable. It’s like he’s taken that personally. He’s a top manager, done great things – four [Premier Leagues] in the last five. It’s like he’s at the end of his tether, and I’ve not seen him like that before.’
Displaying a short shrift throughout – he would eventually walk out of the interview with Sky Sports’ Patrick Davidson – Guardiola said he wanted to see more ‘passion, fire and desire’ from all involved with the club.
‘[We lacked] guts, passion, fire, desire to win from minute one,’ he said when asked what he wanted to see more of from his side. ‘The same with the fans, they are silent for 45 minutes. I want my fans back. The fans have to shout. They booed because we were losing, but not because we played bad. We played good. We were better. They booed because we were losing, but maybe it’s like our team.’
He described the second goal they conceded as ‘ridiculous’.
Jamie Carragher said Guardiola in essence knew what he was doing with his raging interview
Jamie Carragher, working alongside Richards on the night, said he disagreed and suggested that Guardiola was perhaps taking more of a longview with his post-match comments.
‘I disagree. I think it was a brilliant interview,’ he said. ‘As a manager, he’s not been in this position before that often where he feels he’s got to send a rocket to everyone.
‘Not many managers can get away with criticising their own supporters – Jurgen Klopp did it in his early days at Liverpool. He’ll be fine, he’s a God here for the supporters, and he’ll know that.’
He went on to suggest that it was about motivating those within the club to push for another title – suggesting, perhaps, that other figures around Manchester City were satisfied with their success and that a belief had crept in that it was not the end of the world if they surrendered the title this season.
‘I think he knows that if something doesn’t change they will not win the league,’ he said.
‘I think other people in the club might think it might not matter, we’ve won so much. But he knows exactly what it takes to win. But I think if City would have lost tonight and Arsenal would win on Sunday, I think the league was over,’ Carragher added.
‘I think there was no way City were coming back with how they’re playing, compared to Arsenal. And I think he knows that. As he said in the interview, if we keep playing like that we will lose more points. And that was a message to everyone around City – yep, there’s a long way to go, we can still win the league, but we need to change and quickly.’
Izzy Christiansen agreed with her colleague Carragher – suggesting it was an effort to motivate his side and the club for a title race
Izzy Christiansen agreed with Carragher, suggesting it was as much about the ‘psychology’ as it was about his views on his team’s performance.
‘This is about psychology as well. Not only has he sent a rocket to his team – he has done it so subtly that he’s sprinkling little digs at Arsenal,’ she suggested.
‘Because he knows what he’s doing. He did it in his pre-match press conference before the game. He knows what he’s in – he’s in a title race and he knows it. I think he keeps dropping things to A) motivate team but also doing it to send message to the rest of the league, saying we know exactly what we’re in here and we’re going to put as much pressure on Arsenal because Arteta is his mate.’