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Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea should have won everything – Every word from Pep Guardiola’s embargoed press conference pre-Tottenham



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has stated that several of the club’s rivals should have won everything available, if money was the key factor in the game.

The reigning Premier League champions travel to north London on Tuesday to take on Tottenham Hotspur in their penultimate contest of the ongoing English top-flight season, with the league crown still in sight.

Manchester City know that should they win their remaining two matches this season – against Spurs and West Ham – they will be crowned Premier League champions for a record-breaking fourth successive season.

City are boosted by having a largely fully-fit squad at the disposal of Pep Guardiola, who has seen Jack Grealish return to training following illness, and Nathan Ake ‘much better’ having sustained a problem in the early moments of the 0-4 win against Fulham.

Speaking during the second-half of his pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon, Pep Guardiola discussed a number of topics including whether the Premier League is now ‘boring’, Manchester City’s aura, and Liverpool’s demise in the title battle.

Here is every single word from Pep Guardiola’s embargoed press conference ahead of the club’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night!

On whether Manchester City’s relentless consistency is ‘really demoralising’ for other teams

“They are not demoralised because still they are there. They (Arsenal) played yesterday and they were able to win the game. But the fact what we have done in so many, many years, that is quite impressive, to be honest. I cannot say anything to the team, whatever is going to happen in these last two games.

“It’s really unbelievable. Still we are there, but I would beloved for them to be demoralised Arsenal, and get off the competition one month ago, but it’s not the case. They are there, they are waiting for us to drop points tomorrow, to have the chance in Arsenal’s hands to win the Premier League in the last game against Everton.

“It happened with Liverpool; with the numbers, with the consistency of their games, us and Liverpool, it was quite similar. I would say the same. Just, still we are there.”

On whether Manchester City’s ‘aura’ is a special superpower

“I think we won, from many years, the respect from our opponents, that’s for sure. They know the guys, the teams, Liverpool or Arsenal in that cases are there, how difficult it is and every year we are there. But I wouldn’t like to give my word to sound like how good we are and have complacency to suggest it’s enough.

“No, we have something unique in front of our eyes, and I would have loved to prepare the game better but there’s no time because you play the final game, the most important game of the season, I would say or argue this like that, it’s just one game, like we cannot prepare because still we are recovering from the game against Fulham.

“But we are used to playing in these kind of situations and this kind of preparation, and we are ready. We are ready to do it.”

On whether he feels Manchester City are at a point where everyone coming off the bench are ready to make an impact

“Yeah it’s really important, it is. Look at the last game, Jeremy (Doku) and the impact he played in his minutes, and Julian (Alvarez) the same with the goal, and especially the young lads like Rico (Lewis) and Oscar (Bobb) – they were unbelievable in the last minutes.

“The result was 0-2, 0-3 but the game was, OK a little bit more comfortable, but even with that they played really good. We need it of course because we can play in a certain way and after we need another specific quality for the game in the last minutes or whatever, and we need them.

“I think the players know that it’s not just the Club, it’s not just the managers and staff, it’s from themselves, especially for some of the new ones to win their first Premier League, for the senior guys like they have the chance to win the sixth Premier League in seven years, or the fourth in a row.

“And something like it’s not going to happen again, so that’s why we have to do our best to give us a chance next Sunday, to give us the opportunity to win the last game against West Ham and be Champions. That’s why we travel tomorrow to London.”

On whether Manchester City’s moments in history – like the Treble or 100 points – really motivate him

“In the beginning of the season, no. We didn’t think about at all the fourth Premier League, but always you have to be something, something like… In that moment it doesn’t matter if after you win one Premier League or not, in that moment I go home.

“In that moment I think, if we qualified for the semi-final of the Champions League or final of the Champions League, it doesn’t matter, I go home. But we are in February, March, April and, ‘Oh we are still there, we can do it’, and after it ignites something in all our heads, and say, ‘Guys, no team has done it, that means how difficult it is, otherwise Liverpool in the 80s, Sir Alex Ferguson and (Manchester) United in the 90s, Chelsea with Roman Abramovich, Jose (Mourinho), and even Arsenal with (Arsene) Wenger – they would have done it. They have not done it, because it’s difficult, it’s as simple as that.

“But there are tendencies to become complacent, the opponents are better, injuries, and many circumstances that happen that you cannot do it. And this year we survived without Kevin (De Bruyne) for five months, Erling (Haaland) for two months out, many problems we had, new players, and everything, and still every single team, or game the people was there, recognising the team.

“A few players made a step up in terms of minutes, in terms of playing really good, and our game helped us to be where we are right now. And I would say it’s not the easiest to play there, tomorrow (at Tottenham), but it is what it is. And we go for it.”

On the potential atmosphere of Tottenham fans wanting Manchester City to win, transferring to the players

“I give you my advice; don’t ask these questions to Ange (Postecoglou) or the players, don’t do it. Don’t ask them. They will be offended. They will be offended. I never imagine one player, one manager, who doesn’t prepare the game to win it. Maybe they have chance to qualify for the Champions League. Of course the rival is the rival but when you see your team, you want to play good, and they will be their best, I’m pretty sure of that.”

On ‘squeaky bum time’ and whether he will be nervous at Tottenham

“Why couldn’t Sir Alex (Ferguson) make an easier sentence to explain this moment?! Yeah, alright… Now, no, now it’s what I have to tell to the players to introduce Tottenham, the game we expect we’re going to play tomorrow, but tomorrow we’ll feel the tension, the nervousness, of course. Of course I will feel it, otherwise it would be a bad sign.

“Every game, I feel the right tension, but at the same time, as much as you know the opponent, and focus on what they have to do, to read what happens during the game, to don’t be so excited and take bad decisions and make my players a little bit anxious from my behaviours, sometimes it happens unfortunately for me and for the team, the rest I’m fine.

“I’m fine, just to be calm, to take the right decisions. Always it has been, but not now. When it’s September, October, November, and the beginning of the season, it’s the same. It’s nice to have that feeling. I don’t think any competitor, football player or managers they are relaxed and say it doesn’t matter. But of course, we know what we’re playing for.

“It’s like a quarter-final, semi-final second-leg, Champions League or FA Cup, like it’s not that you can get back. It’s simple; win, OK, lose, bye bye. It’s not much complicated.”

On whether not wanting the feeling of losing a title is as much of a motivation as wanting the winning feeling

“Listen, when I was younger, even as a football player, I had that tendency that I suffered a little more time the good moments than the bad moments. I learned over time to handle it much better; when you lose, you are sad one or two days, but after nothing changes much.

“Because after two, three days, everyone asks you what’s next and the other one. It’s the journey, it’s what is nice to live and even in the good moments. Honestly, I remember the good moments I had, or we had in our career than the bad moments. Bad moments is part of the game, there’s no guarantee.

“Tomorrow we can lose the game, we can draw the game and lose the Premier League, yeah. Absolutely it can happen. There’s no doubt about that, but at the same time we have the chance to go there and win the same. My mindset is why am I going to think about losing the game, my mindset is that we are going to win it. We are going to win it.

“But we lose, OK, it happened, the journey, the season was unbelievable, unbelievable, winning two trophies that we don’t have, we are in the final of the FA Cup, and fighting again for the Premier League. What else can I ask to my team, from my club, from the fans, and everything, nothing else!

“It’s just we have to do it again, we have been here before, and every time we have done it, so I don’t remember how difficult it has been. I remember Aston Villa in the last game here with Steven Gerrard creating a lot, a lot of problems, with a system I didn’t expect in that moment, in that game.

“But arrive there, it’s incredible, it’s fantastic, it’s how nice it is, but people remember the winners. The other ones, OK it would be nice, but it’s not enough. It’s like I said about Madrid, we played really good but it was not enough. We are not in the final. And the reality is that. We have the chance, and we’re going to try to pick it up.”

On people thinking Manchester City’s Premier League title win was inevitable after Arsenal’s defeat against Aston Villa

“Always I listen, because I control all of you and I know what you say and write… Yeah, it surprised me a lot when after then, ‘Ah City is not going to lose. Ah, it’s impossible that they’re going to drop points’. I don’t have any arguments to say why. Of course we can drop points, you can lose games.

“Always what happened is because we won it, it’s because we put a lot of effort behind. The people say, ‘They’re not going to drop points’ because we didn’t in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen today. Otherwise, the old, old, old teams still would be winning, but just winning one.

“OK, it’s nice, but I don’t pay attention for one second because it’s not true. We have to do it again, and again. What is important is still we are there, yeah, we would like to prove they are right. But we have to do it.”

On the Premier League being ‘boring’

“It’s not boring, it’s nice. Listen, in football, I saw Liverpool in the last weeks could not fight with Arsenal, but do you know the way they lost the chance to not fight until the end? I saw the game against Crystal Palace in the second-half, the game against (Manchester) United, the chances they missed, it looks unbelievable! You cannot believe it!

“I saw, I asked (staff), ‘Give me all the chances from Liverpool that they missed’. But they missed it without the keeper, keeper, nothing, and they missed it! And for that reason, they are not fighting until the end. They are losers? No. They are failures? No. They are an incredible, same team that fights against us in these many, many years, like last season, because at the end it’s tell me how this incredible, attacking players that Liverpool has don’t score a goal.

“And for that reason, they didn’t win. It can happen! But the important is Liverpool, they are winners, because until the end they fought for four titles, being there… Playing against Atalanta, did you see yesterday Atalanta/Roma? The performance they have done, it’s unbelievable Atalanta. They can beat you.

“I remember years ago when I said, ‘Ah Borussia Dortmund, easy for Manchester City’. Borussia Dortmund, look. I would love to be in Borussia Dortmund’s position right now, and go to Wembley in a few weeks to play the (Champions League) final. It’s boring? It’s not, it’s so difficult.

“Because before, do you know what is was? It was the money. If that was the reason why… Man United should win all the titles, ALL of them. And the second… Chelsea. ALL the titles. And third… Arsenal. ALL the titles. Because they spent much money in the last five, six years than us. Net spend. They SHOULD be there, they are not there.

“For that reason, Girona should not be in the Champions League in Spain, and they’re in the Champions League. Or Leicester should not win the Premier League years ago. Now it’s boring? It’s not boring. It’s so difficult to be here again, and again, and now we want to take it.”

On the pressure and mindset of his Manchester City team

“They are so focussed. They are so, so concentrated to know what we have in front of us, that’s what I felt in the last games, since we played in the mix and most of the games we survived, just in the FA Cup semi-final we survived, Nottingham Forest we survived.

“But we have that something when we’re playing not really bad like maybe yesterday Arsenal was not the best performance, but they were there. That defines the big teams. Give me one week against Fulham, we competed better. We had one week, three days off, two days on and they can rest.

“But we have two days and a half to prepare Spurs away, you know that? Knowing that, I cannot train, I cannot do it, we are used to it, yeah. But that is what defines the big teams, and the difficulties against Chelsea, it was suffer and survive and I don’t know how, because they were closer than us to reach the final, I don’t tell me why we did it.

“Experience, personalities or whatever, I don’t know. And of course the players are incredibly focussed that we want, yes or yes, we are going to do our best to arrive in the last game depending on us. This is what we want.”