Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made two very controversial decisions that caused plenty of debate. It was time for him to give his opinion.
The Catalan coach spoke to the press ahead of City's Premier League match against Stoke City, and he was asked about benching longtime starting keeper Joe Hart, as well as leaving midfielder Yaya Touré out of the squad for Pep's two official matches so far.
Guardiola answered those questions, and he was straight as usual:
“Yaya is trying very well, he loves football. I spoke with him about his situation, he’s a player with huge quality and I’m really glad that his agent said I’m a good coach, ‘thank you, Dimitri’.
“I have adulation and respect for Yaya’s quality – when he increases his intensity without the ball, he will be involved. "
“Hart hasn’t been picked so far because Caballero was 3 weeks ahead of him in preseason. Hart is talented,if he stays and fights - great.
"I want happiness for the players. I don't want players to stay if they don't want. If Hart wants to leave I won’t stop him, but he can learn and improve under me.”
Source: Manchester Evening News
Pretty strong answers, especially on Yaya. Basically, Pep is saying "Yaya, work hard or don't play". His stance on Hart hasn't changed, and Joe will only play when he's good with the ball.
Guardiola is definitely not afraid to make tough decisions.