Pep Guardiola has hinted that his glorious reign as Manchester City manager could be cut short if his players fail to respond to his rallying cry for an end to the lowering of standards. Guardiola called out his stars as he lacked the hunger and desire to bring Arsenal into the top of the Premier League despite trailing 2-0 to beat Tottenham 4-2 on Thursday. The Catalan coach has led the most successful period in the club’s history, winning four league titles in the past five seasons.
Guardiola even extended his contract with the Etihad until 2025 in November, but admitted he has personal experience of the slack that comes with success as a player.
“I won four La Ligas in a row when I was a footballer,” said the former Barcelona midfielder.
“In the fifth (season) I wasn’t the same, in the sixth I wasn’t the same. I wasn’t hungry enough. I thought ‘How good am I’ and Madrid beat me in the fifth and the sixth.”
“I understand (the challenge) but I’m here to do it. The chairman knows that. I want to be here or I won’t sign.”
“But if I lose the team or if I lose something, I can’t be here. People don’t wait here.”
Arsenal are five points ahead of Guardiola’s men and have a game in hand.
However, City could close the gap at the top to two points with a victory over Wolves on Sunday before Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates.
City and Arsenal also have to face each other three more times this season, the first of which will be Friday in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
And Guardiola hopes his public appeal to take up arms will get the response he’s looking for with half of the league season still to play.
“We are second in the table, we are not even 25 points behind Arsenal. There are still 57 points to play. What I am saying is we play this way, (there is) no chance. We have time to recover,” he said. added.
“I’m sorry to our haters, we will be in the Premier League history books for what we did – there’s no denying it.
“For a lot of things consistency is to play at a good level, but that’s in the past. Now our fans want the second half (against Tottenham) more often and that’s what we need to find.”
Two of the key players in Arsenal’s stunning start to the season have come from City, but Guardiola has insisted he has no regrets about selling Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to The Gunners.
“I always say that when players want to leave, they can’t stay. I wish the best for Gabriel and Alex. Great people, they help us a lot,” added Guardiola.
“Of course, Erling (Haaland) came and Julian (Alvarez) and it was difficult for Gabriel. It’s normal. It was a good deal, the players who were here like Raheem (Sterling), Alex, Gabriel, I always have great compliments .” for what they did while they were here.
“It was a good transfer for the club. We are not in the position we are in because we don’t have Alex and the others.”
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