Pep Guardiola takes the shine off incredible City comeback: ‘I want my fans back’

He said 'we are far away from the team we were'.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 20th January 2023

Pep Guardiola has always been a somewhat enigmatic character. You can never really tell what’s going on in that footballing brain of his. However, despite achieving a truly remarkable comeback against Spurs on Thursday, he made it very clear what he was thinking.

Despite enjoying the majority of the ball and creating chances throughout, Manchester City somehow found themselves on the receiving end of a one-two punch just before half-time, conceding two goals within the space of a minute — both of which he said they ‘gifted’ to their opponents.

However, when City came back out after the break, they were firing on all cylinders from the second the ref blew the whistle, scoring the equalising goals in less than 10 minutes before going on to see off Antonio Conte’s side 4-2.

While many managers would simply be relieved and/or happy that their players possessed the fight to get back in the game, the four-time Premier League winner was anything but, insisting that he “[did] not recognise his team” and that they showed “nothing from the stomach, the guts”.

I mean, you did win after being 2-0 down, Pep — they did show some fight…

Cutting an antagonist albeit understandably frustrated figure in the post-match interview, the 52-year-old said that his team lacked “passion, fire and desire to win”, even going on to take aim at his own supporters: “the same [goes] for our fans, they were silent for 45 minutes.


After the interviewer noted that certain sections of the crowd could be heard booing the City players off at half-time, Pep did insist that they were simply annoyed because the team were losing and “not because [they] played bad”.

While he did clarify that the club’s ‘real’, dedicated supporters, such as those who travel to away games “are the best”, he theorised that the problem with those that stayed quiet or even booed is perhaps the same as his squad’s: “Maybe we are too comfortable after winning four Premier Leagues in five years”.


Furthermore, when asked if ‘the fire’ had gone out in his team he instantly replied, “definitely”. Worse still, in the subsequent post-match press conference, the hyper-analytical coach warned that if this performance is anything to go by, it spells bad omens for the games against league Arsenal.

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Doubling down on the suggestions of complacency, not only did Pep say he wants his fans back, but he also criticised the club for being in a state of what he calls “happy flowers”, arguing instead that they should only be focused on beating Arsenal.

Not only are the North London club five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand on the blue half of Manchester, but Pep is set to come against his former protégé Mikel Arteta three times in the next few months: the first being next week in the FA Cup and then away in the league on 15 February.


To make things even more complicated, Manchester United face Arsenal on Sunday and a win could see them go neck and neck with their rivalries once again in the title race. On the other hand, a slip-up from the league leaders could simply open the door for City to reassert their dominance.

It’s going to be a tasty second half of the season, put it that way.

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Featured Image — Sky Sports/Man City (via Twitter)