It’s time for part two of Pep Guardiola’s post-West Ham United discussion with the media from Saturday evening.
Manchester City maintained their 100 per cent start to the new campaign at the London Stadium, coming back from 1-0 down to win 1-3 in the capital with a starring performance from summer recruit Jeremy Doku.
James Ward-Prowse put the UEFA Conference League winners ahead in the first-half courtesy of a diving header as the Englishman found himself free inside the Manchester City penalty area as West Ham counter-attacked to great effect.
With the aforementioned Doku being City’s most dangerous asset during the first 45 minutes, the Belgian winger picked up exactly where he left off in the second period of time, driving forward after just 46 seconds to strike home in a stunning individual effort.
The 21-year-old’s goal was followed up by Bernardo Silva striking home for his first goal of the season while Erling Haaland rounded off the scoring as always – despite having endured a troublesome day on the whole in front of goal.
In part two of Pep Guardiola’s post-West Ham press conference, the City boss discussed the issues surrounding his squad’s injury situation, the important of retaining Bernardo Silva, and the development of Kyle Walker, as well as what makes the full-back so unique in the game.
Here is every word from the embargoed section of Pep Guardiola’s post-West Ham press conference at the London Stadium from Saturday evening!
On the importance of keeping Bernardo Silva this summer
“The same (as Kyle Walker). Yesterday we spoke about that; losing Kyle (Walker) and Bernardo (Silva) would have been so tough. It’s not about how important they are on the pitch, they’re important figures, their personalities, and there are many things that are almost irreplaceable for many aspects.
“Because the characters, in the beginning, the team needs one year, two years, three years and maybe you substitute these players. The quality is there, they’ll be good but to be composed, to be what they have is difficult, you need time. And that’s why after losing important players like (Ilkay) Gundogan, like Riyad (Mahrez) who is really, really important as well.
“Losing these players, and losing two more would have been really, really important, that’s why we are really pleased that the club made the job and the players wanted to stay a little bit longer with us and we’re very happy.”
On his reduced bench and the difficulty of the coming weeks
“Yeah, that is a problem. When you have a lot of injuries, the problem is not today, the day after, it’s not in three, four, five games. In the Carabao Cup we have to go away to Newcastle. I’m sorry, but there are games that we’re going to have to play with some second team players because we cannot waste the dangers. Kevin (De Bruyne) is still out, and John (Stones) is still out, Mateo (Kovacic) I don’t know, Jack (Grealish) I don’t know.
“When you have all the squad, you go to Newcastle with a good team and whatever. That’s why now it’s just to rest, to recover well, training (little) to be fit and try to arrive on the day of the game in as best condition as possible. We cannot waste energy otherwise… I was on holidays, but these guys was playing 90 minutes, 90 minutes with their national teams and travelling from Bolivia (in the case of Julian Alvarez), Ederson from Brazil – it’s so exhausting for them.
“Just take a look at how many injuries all the teams have, and look at (Edson) Alvarez of West Ham – after 15/20 minutes in the second-half, out. Why? Come from (international) camp in South America, jet lags, 12/13 hours (flight) to come here and play against (Manchester) City. We treat the players in not a good way. We are so responsible for how we treat the players.”
On whether Kyle Walker’s maintained level of physicality is surprising
“I would say I’m not surprised because I’ve known him for seven years. But I have to admit that when he is stable, and happy, and whatever, he has the ability to… His mum and dad gave him some genetics that our mum and dad didn’t give to us. This is the reality. And he uses it really well, and every time he’s a better player; understands better the game, with the ball he’s much better. All the aspects are really, really good!”
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