Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says England midfielder Calvin Phillips returned from the World Cup “overweight” and “not in the right shape to train”.
Leeds’ summer signing has made just four substitute appearances this season due to a shoulder injury and was initially a doubt to make Gareth Southgate. England team.
Phillips’ England team-mates John Stones, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish all missed out as Man City won the Carabao Cup 3-2 against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. A surprising omission from the team.
Asked why Phillips wasn’t fit against Liverpool, Guardiola said: “He’s not injured. He came in overweight. I don’t know. [why].
“He didn’t come in training sessions and in playing condition.”
A reporter followed up by asking: “But he’s away with England, nutritionists, etc…?”
Guardiola replied: “No, no, no, no. Absolutely. That’s why he can’t play. When he’s ready, he’ll play because we need him, we need him a lot.”
Asked if it was disappointing, Guardiola added: “It’s a personal conversation with education.”
Guardiola is without another World Cup star, albeit for somewhat legitimate reasons after he picked up a hamstring injury in his last game for Portugal in Qatar.
“Ruben Diaz He is injured. “Ruben has a hamstring in the last game of the World Cup and is out,” he added.
What’s next for Man City?
Manchester City resume their Premier League campaign with a trip to Phillips’ former team Leeds on 28 December; Starting at 8 pm.
Busy few weeks for Man City…
- December 28: Leeds United (A) – Kick-off 8pm (Premier League)
- December 31: Everton (H) – 3pm kick-off (Premier League)
- January 5: Chelsea (A) – Kick-off at 8pm, live Sky Sports (Premier League)
- January 8: Chelsea (H) – Kick-off 4.30pm (FA Cup)
- January 10: Southampton (A) – 7.45pm (Carabao Cup)
- January 14: Man Utd (A) – Kick-off 12.30 (Premier League)
- January 19: Tottenham (H) – Kick-off 8pm (Premier League)
- January 22: Wolves (H) – Kick-off 2pm (Premier League)
Thursday, January 5 at 6:30 p.m
Starts at 8:00 PM
Pep: Rico Lewis set for ‘big decade’
Meanwhile, Guardiola believes Manchester City have found a star for the next 10 years in teenage right-back Rico Luiz.
The 18-year-old academy graduate impressed in City’s hard-fought win over rivals Liverpool to earn his latest first-team opportunity.
It came after Luiz scored on his first senior start against Sevilla in the Champions League earlier last month.
“I have the feeling that we couldn’t have played the way we did without him,” said City manager Guardiola, who had no qualms about Luiz proving more serious once Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo returned from the World Cup. Encounter.
“At a young age, I was very impressed with how he played against a real, real senior team.
“It’s not about ball intelligence, it’s lacking.
“We are privileged to announce that this man will have a great decade and will be an absolutely incredible player for Manchester City in the years to come, because he is very intelligent, very humble. He understands everything in an instant and makes everything work.
“He’s very smart. We have an incredibly perfect full-pack with us for the next few years.
“He always plays well, but (just) not against Liverpool. Liverpool are special, with (Darvin) Nunez, (Mohamed) Salah, Thiago (Alcantara) and (Andy) Robertson by his side.
“He’s 18 and the way he played was great. He was man of the match.”