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“Different ways to go about it” – Kalvin Phillips hits back at Pep Guardiola criticism



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West Ham loanee Kalvin Phillips has hit back at previous comments by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola regarding his weight.

The 28-year-old completed a transfer to the London Stadium for the remainder of the current campaign during the January transfer window in an attempt to boost his hopes of being selected by Gareth Southgate for the European Championships in Germany.

Phillips made just six starts in 18 months for Manchester City, despite winning five trophies, including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Emirates FA Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

The midfielder swapped Elland Road for the Etihad Stadium in July 2022 in a £42 million transfer but failed to make an impact within the Manchester City first-team squad, being an unused substitute on 45 occasions.

Phillips made four starts last season for the Sky Blues, making his Premier League debut against Brentford on the final day of the 2022/23 campaign.

The Englishman has already made three appearances for West Ham, after choosing to move to east London despite transfer interest from a number of Premier League clubs during the January transfer window.

Phillips made his debut against Bournemouth and also featured during Sunday’s humiliating 6-0 loss to Arsenal at the London Stadium.

The 28-year-olds move to the Hammers is partly motivated by England ambitions, with Phillips looking to revive his international career after stalling at Manchester City.

The midfielder was selected for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 despite a lack of minutes, but has hit back at comments by Pep Guardiola upon his return from the tournament, when the Catalan revealed that Phillips was ‘overweight’ during a press conference.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Phillips said: “After the World Cup was probably the toughest, when Pep [Guardiola] came out and said I was overweight. He was right to do so but there are different ways to go about it.

“Pep was frustrated I didn’t come back into training early but it was just a miscommunication between the people at City and myself.

“Pep wanted me to come in the day after we finished the tournament and be involved in friendlies and stuff. I never got that information because if he asked me to be there, I would have.

“It was just a misunderstanding, he was very frustrated with me coming back 1.5kg over my target weight.

“It took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City. My family were not happy about it, either. Especially Mum.”

Phillips will be unable to feature when West Ham face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in May, although the Englishman will be available for the Hammers’ UEFA Europa League fixtures.