The Three Lions are in the semi-finals of a World Cup, there first in 28 years and Paul scholes has said Pep Guardiola deserved some accolades for the team’s success.

The former Manchester United man, who represented the English national team on 66 occasions, with 14 goals said Guardiola was the brainstorm behind England’s feat at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Guardiola played three at the back last season, a style Gareth Southgate has been working with during the Mundial.

Scholes poured out praises on Guardiola, telling Bein Sports, “He is definitely an influence on England.

“Especially when you see the way they’ve got the back three, the way they’ve got the goalkeeper playing.

“I don’t think Gareth has made any secret of that. He’s been to see Pep and he’s picked his brain.

“He wants to know how he produces that type of football. As ab England fan and ex-England player, we want to see the best possible football.

“Spain played the best football, Manchester City played the best football, so why not try and copy that type of play?”

 

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The Man City boss has quashed the allegations from Yaya Toure that he had a racist tendency – saying the Ivorian international should have said that to him during their time together.

Yaya Toure who was freed by Man City at the end of last season, in an interview last week claimed the Catalan “was cruel with me.”

The three time African football player of the year said Guardiola would not have treated a European player the way he treated him both at Barcelona and Man City.

“Do you really think he could’ve been like that with Andres Iniesta? ...”

“Maybe us African players aren’t always treated the same by certain people. When you see the problems {Pep} has often had with African players, everywhere he has been, I ask myself questions.”

Speaking for the first time since the said allegation from Yaya Toure, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said the allegations were all lies.

It’s a lie and he knows it,” Guardiola as quoted by Marca.

We were together for two years and now this is when he says it. He never told me face to face.”

Guardiola, who managed Barcelona for four seasons – winning fourteen trophies with Blaugrana also played down talks of going back to his former side whether as a coach or a president.

He added, “No, I am a coach {not a president} and I am good at what I do, you can’t be everything.

“When I stop coaching, you will find me playing golf. As the coach of Barcelona, it’s over, because I’m not the same and nor do they look towards me the same.”

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The day he picks a team with Five African players I’ll send him a cake.

 

The Ivorian international has accused his former boss of hating on African players.

Yaya Toure left Man City a club he made over 200 appearances – winning three Premier League titles at the end of the season after playing a limited role under Guardiola.

The three time African Football Player of the Year winner experienced the same under the Catalan at Barcelona, which eventually led him to move Man City in the summer of 2010.

Yaya Toure said he felt Guardiola had no love for African players – saying a player like Iniesta would not have suffered all he experienced under Guardiola.

“He was cruel with me,” Yaya Toure, as quoted by Goal.

“Do you really think he could’ve been like that with Andres Iniesta? It got to the point I asked myself if it was because of my colour. I’m not the first, other Barca players asked the question too.

“Maybe us African players aren’t always treated the same by certain people. When you see the problems {Pep} has often had with African players, everywhere he has been, I ask myself questions.”

Yaya Toure concluded, “He’s too intelligent to be caught. He’ll never admit {not liking African players}. But the day he picks a team with five Africans in it, I promise I will send him a cake.”

 

 

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McManaman believes Zidane does not get enough credits

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid winger has claimed Zinedine Zidane’s achievement was being undervalued.

 

According to McManaman, who also played together with Zidane, the Real Madrid boss “does not pat himself enough on the back.”

 

Zidane is on the verge of making an unprecedented record should his side come out victorious in their Champions League final match against Liverpool on Saturday – as he would be the first manager to win the Champions League, three times in a row.

He will also move up to join the duo of Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelloti as the only managers to have won the Champions League on three occasions.

 

McManaman believes Zidane does not get enough credits for these feats and it would have been a different ball game had it been it was Pep Guardiola.

 

“He doesn’t get enough credit,” MC Manaman told Telegraph. “He took over a struggling, dysfunctional team.

 

“The players were not happy when he was appointed. He has gone on to win two Champions Leagues. If Pep Guardiola had done this people would be singing from rooftops.

 

“He does not pat himself on the back enough. He is similar as a manager as a player. He is not outspoken. He gives nothing away. Not extravagant in interviews, but always graceful.”

 

He explained further, “If he wins, everyone says it is down to players, but he is the one who has turned them into a happy bunch.

 

“I understand some managers don’t appear to be so proactive – I had that when I played under Vicente del Bosque. He was not a shouter or a super architect with elaborate training sessions, but he kept the camp happy and everyone knew where they stood. He did not feel the need to give chest-thumping speeches. He let the leaders in the dressing room – the Spanish players – do all that. Zizou looks like he has taken the same approach.

 

“On the pitch, it is Sergio Ramos, or Cristiano Ronaldo who are the leaders.

 

“The ability to control and mould that is a management skill as important as any when you have such a strong dressing room. You can’t tell players like Cristiano what to do. It is the same with Lionel Messi for Barcelona managers. They are too powerful. But you have to keep them happy to get the best out of them.

 

“I am not saying they have a huge ego, but they are superstars – some of the best players in football history – so you need a special character to man-manage them well. Zizou should be there forever, given what he has achieved.”

 

Madrid, on Saturday will be playing in their fourth Champions League final in five seasons.

 

They emerged winners on every occasion – defeating Atletico Madrid twice and Juventus last season.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pep Guardiola has revealed that the duo of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba were offered to Man City during the last transfer window.

The Man City boss said at his press conference ahead of the Manchester derby that Mino Raiola, who is the agent of both Pogba and Mkhitaryan contacted about the availability of the duo.

Guardiola, who Raiola labelled a dog in a recent interview said he told City about the availability of the players but there was no fund to sign Pogba.

“Two months ago he {Raiola} offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us,” Guardiola said.

“We don’t have the money to buy Pogba because he is so expensive.”

On Raiola calling him a dog, he added, “Comparing me to a dog is bad – it’s not good. He has to respect the dogs.”

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The Arsenal boss has revealed the Manchester City boss once visited him because he wanted to represent Arsenal.

Wenger did not take up Guardiola’s offer and the Spaniard went on to represent Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli, and Mexican side Dorados before he hung his boots in 2006.

Pep Guardiola represented the Barcelona senior team for 11 years – appearing in 263 games for the Blaugrana, and Wenger who praised the former Spanish international for his understanding of the game said Guardiola once visited him in order to play for the North London side.

Praising Guardiola’s philosophy in an interview with Beinsports, Wenger said: “I have spoken with him on various occasions, one time he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal.

“He has had some exceptional teams and trained them very well.

“I respect what he does because he has a clear vision of the game and positive attitude and philosophy.”

The Frenchman concluded: “Even if he doesn’t win because of it, I respect him for the influence that he has on the game”

In his first season as a manager, Guardiola guided Barcelona to a treble, winning the La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League – in winning the latter, he became the youngest coach to win the competition.

Having departed Barcelona in the summer of 2012, he signed for Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich in 2013 – where he won the Bundesliga in all of the three seasons he spent at the club.

And having putting pen to a three-year deal with Man City in 2016, the Spaniard witnessed his first season without a trophy same season.

Guardiola’s Man City stand a chance to win a quadruple this season - as they are 16 points ahead second-place Man u in the league.

The Citizens will also lock horns with Arsenal in the final of the Capital One Cup next week at the Wembley Stadium and are also in contention to win the Emirates FA Cup the UEFA Champions League.

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With City having over seven first team players ruled out for the 1-1 draw against Burnley last Saturday, Guardiola named only six players on the substitute bench for the game - and that made Garry Neville to refer to the City boss as a ‘joke.’

Though the City U-23 team had a match on Friday night, the former United defender argued that Guardiola should have featured a youth team player on the bench on Saturday.

Neville claimed the academy manager would have felt he was wasting his time at the club.

And at his pre-match conference for the tie against Leicester City, Guardiola said he chose not to name an academy player as his seventh substitute at the Turf Moor because City Under-23 had a game the previous night and he never wanted to upset their plans.

Guardiola said Neville should know about his decision because he was a manager for “a short time”, a reference to Neville’s four months spell at Valencia.

Guardiola said: “This guy {Neville}, the pundit, he has to know my job is serious, it’s not a joke, never is it a joke.

“It’s so serious, and he should know that because he was a manager for a short time.”

Neville has been at the centre of some funny commentaries recently – the 42-year-old last week also said that Karius was at fault as the Liverpool keeper should have done more to save the Wanyama’s strike in Liverpool 2-2 draw at Anfield last Sunday

But what a clap back from Pep! How that lasts is left to be seen.

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Joey Barton has criticised Pep Guardiola over pleas that players needed to be more protected by the referees.

The Manchester City’s boss comments came aftermath the injury Leroy Sane suffered in the game against Cardiff City on Sunday as a result of bad tackling from Bennett, who only saw yellow card although he was later sent off after getting another booking.

Guardiola after the game was quoted by BBC sports to have said, “For football in general players are the artists. The only thing they can do is protect them.

“Referees have to protect – not just mine, all players.”

But Barton has disproved Guardiola’s pleas – saying fans like a contact sport.

According to the outspoken former Burnley midfielder, the physicality nature of the English League was one of the reasons why the league was amassing a large number of followership.

 Barton, as quoted by Marca, “What does he want, a sport without any contact like in Spain or Italy?”

“If you look at Serie A or the French League, they are horrible to watch, there are a lot of stoppages and our league is better because it flows.

“Pep needs to understand that this is English football. Football has moved on, we protect our players a lot more than we used to do,” he concluded.

Guardiola, whose side are topping the league – 12 points ahead of second place Manchester United will have to do without the services of Sane in their next game against West Brom on Wednesday night.

Sane was said to have suffered ankle ligament damage as a result of the tackle from Bennett and some dailies have reported that the German midfielder could be out for up to 3-4 months.

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The Frenchman explains the difference between the Arsenal invincible squad and Present City's squad 

The former Arsenal and France midfielder believes the Arsenal squad that went a whole season without losing a league game in the 2003/2004 season is better than that of the present Man City.

Pires appeared in 40 of Arsenal's unbeaten 49 games finding the back of the net 23 times.

While Man City have better the invincibles’ record set in 2003/2004 of 14 consecutive wins by three – winning 17 games in a row, Piresargued that if the two sides were to lock horns, the invicible squad would come out the better over the present high flying Man City squad.

According to him, the team he starred in in 2003 possessed more qualities than the Pep Guardiola’s team.

The invincible squad of 2003/2004 season

“I think my team had more quality," Pires told CNN Sport.

“Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry had more quality than Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.”

"Patrick Vieira is better than Fernandinho. Pires is better than ... De Bruyne..”

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Meanwhile Man City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that he was not after going the whole season without losing a game but for his team to play a good footballer.

Re-echoing his manager’s stand, City star man earlier this month told Sky it would be impossible for his team to go the season unbeaten.

"The power of the Premier League means every team has a lot of money and every team has a lot of quality players,” De Bruyne said.

“So I think one day or another you will face a team who finds a system to beat you, or they have a better day."

With the win against Newcastle on Wednesday, Man City have made it 17 wins on the bounce – with only Everton the only side to pick a point from them this season.

 

 

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I tried to hit him in the chest with my arm and he just went underneath me and I thought to myself, this guy is a magician.

Rio Ferdinand has described Lionel Messi as a magician and believes Manchester United might have won the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals if not for the five time Balon D’or winner.

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Messi, who was the shortest man in the Rome final against Manchester United in 2009 scored a looping header past Van Der Sar – with Barcelona winning 2-0.  Two years later in Wembley, the Argentine skipper was also on target as his ‘magic’ according to Ferdinand, saw The Red Devils losing two Champions League finals to Barcelona in the space of three years.

Ferdinand faced Messi in the two finals and has identified him as the best players he has played against.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever played against,” Ferdinand, as quoted by Marca.

 “I tried to hit him in the chest with my arm and he just went underneath me and I thought to myself, this guy is a magician.

“In our dressing room, we all thought that without Messi, we would probably have won those games against Barcelona.”

The 455-capped Manchester United player on the debate on the Manchester United managers said he’d love to play under Jose Mourinho for protection but would go with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola to enjoy football.

He added: As a defender, it would be Jose to protect me well. But to enjoy it, then it would be Pep.

Read Also: Pogba Return Proves Catalyst for United Sparkle: Premier League; The Weekend That Was

 

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