Gabriel Jesus has revealed not just the reason but the very moment he decided to leave Manchester City following a difficult decision by his manager, Pep Guardiola, which made him cry.
The Brazilian striker joined Man City back in January 2017 and was expected to become Sergio Aguero‘s successor for the long term, but after being somewhat of a rotation player for a number of seasons and being threatened with the imminent arrival of Erling Haaland, Jesus decided to call it a day.
Although many might have naturally assumed that Haaland’s transfer in June last year simply rendered him surplus to requirements, especially with prolific youngster Julian Alvarez waiting in the wings as well, the 26-year-old, his desire to leave apparently dates back to November 2021.
Speaking on The Denilson Show podcast, Jesus detailed how he was left out of the starting lineup for a crucial home game against PSG in the Champions League and even though City were in need of a man up front, he chose to play defender/utility midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko “as a false nine”.
Describing the decision by Guardiola as a “crazy thing”, the Arsenal number nine went on to explain how “the day before, [Pep] didn’t even use [Zinchenko] in training” and naturally assumed that he would be playing as striker with Aguero having already left and there being no other real attacking options.
Nevertheless, “two hours before the game” and before the team had their pre-match meal, the striker was told he wouldn’t be starting and says he “didn’t even eat” after hearing the news.
“I went straight to the room, crying”, he said; “I called my mother to talk: ‘I want to leave.’ I’m going home, because he put [Zinchenko] on, and he didn’t put me on. He put a left-back there. I went crazy.”
Despite eventually coming on in the second half to replace the Ukrainian and not only set up the equaliser but score the late winner, he said that even after the game Zinchenko — who has since also left the club for the same destination — joked with him and admitted, “That day I felt bad for you”.
Even after being subbed on and having a game-changing impact, the same happened in the next game against RB Leipzig, with Jesus adding, “There was a lot of that with him [Guardiola], and it’s not easy… it’s really hard”.
“That’s when I decided I didn’t want to stay anymore and I decided to leave”, said Jesus, who ultimately went on to join Pep’s protégé Mikel Arteta, reunited with Zinchenko and with the Gunners finishing as runners-up in the 2022/23 Premier League title race. Not a bad first season.
He has described the move as a positive one that has left him feeling “free on the pitch”, remotivated and “playing football with a smile on [his] face” again, even despite an injury ruling him out for a large chunk of the season.
You can watch the full interview with subtitles down below:
Featured Image — Gabriel Jesus/Manchester City (via Instagram)
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below:
Featured Images — Scott McTominay (via Instagram)/MUTV
Kevin Sinfield has entered the final leg of yet another ultra marathon challenge for MND
Ex-rugby player turned England coach Kevin Sinfield has begun the final day of yet another incredible ultra marathon challenge he is undertaking to raise money and awareness around motor neurone disease (MND), with the sports personality scheduled to finish up this Thursday.
Having set off on 1 December, the Oldham-born athlete is facing what he has called easily his “toughest challenge” yet, taking on the newly-dubbed ‘Ultra 7 in 7 in 7’, which will see him once again run an ultra marathon every day for seven days across seven different cities.
Following on from his first Ultra 7 in 7 back in 2020 and most recent one last year, the Leeds Rhinos legend has now raised well over £8 million pounds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), the cause he got behind following his former teammate and best mate Rob Burrow’s diagnosis in 2019.
Now, having taken on the incredible feat once again — running the equivalent of 27 miles (43km) a day — Sinfield is hoping to not just reach the trademark £777,777 fundraising target, but smash it for a fourth consecutive time. Here he is finishing up his penultimate leg in his second home.
Setting off from Yorkshire’s iconic Headingley Stadium with a team of friends and volunteers, the 43-year-old has passed through the likes of Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton, and is now staring down one last push towards the finale from Twickenham Stadium to the Mall in London.
Having already amassed over £557k in donations since the start of his remarkable journey, he is well on course to reach the finish line in every sense of the word.
The best part about this most recent Ultra 7 fundraising challenge, though, is that beyond just putting in the hard yards in Burrow‘s name and raising money for the MNDA, the funds generated from this series of runs will be going to multiple causes.
As well as the Leeds Hospitals Charity and The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, money will also be going to the Irish MNDA set up by former Scottish rugby player, Doddie Weir, who sadly died from the condition in 2022 but has remained an inspiration to Sinfield and countless others over recent years.
Having echoed his lasting sentiment that “MND isn’t untreatable, it’s just underfunded” throughout his own campaigning for the cause, the local sporting hero will also be representing the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in his honour. Heartwarming stuff.
As we’re sure is the case for all of you too, we’ve been absolutely blown away by this man over the last few years not only in his ability to keep completing these huge feats of endurance but by the size of his heart in continuing to fundraise on such a massive scale.
From raising awareness around MND and becoming an emblem of friendship with his best mate Rob, Kevin Sinfield has truly set an example for all of us and will no doubt prove a role model to millions for years to come.