Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt slams Man City boss Pep Guardiola over an ‘offensive’ suggestion said after Man City’s win over Wycombe.
The 50 year old Spanish football manager has come under fire yet again from the football community for proposing an EFL restructure, bigging up the idea of having Premier League B Teams in leagues below the top tier.
It riled up League One club owner Andy Holt so much that he took to social media to voice his concerns with what was said.
Here is the full answer to a question of how valuable an experience it was for City’s academy defence to face physical strikers like Akinfenwa in the Carabao Cup win on Tuesday.
“They can have this freedom because they train with us. Otherwise they could not play,” Guardiola said. “The better would be every week they could play against Wycombe. Every weekend they could play against this legendary striker for England.
“That would be the better development for these players. Not just training with us, the defenders play against Raz, against Phil, against Gabriel, against Riyad, against these kind of players. They should play every day in the Championship or League One. That should be the best level for English football, that would be the best.
“Not playing against these players who are 17 or 18 or 19 winning 4-0, 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 every single day. This is not, we cannot educate them., that is not good for them.
“But I am not here to change anything of this country,” he finished, before embarking on a familiar complaint over the fact Premier League clubs can only make three substitutions in a game, rather than five as many other leagues allow.
Andy Holt said: “Stop whining for Christ sake. You have everything at your disposal and it’s still not enough. If these players should be playing L1, LET THEM GO and buy them back when they’ve been trained.”
Pep Guardiola suggests that Manchester City should be able to put their U23 squad into the Championship or League One after Carabao Cup game with Wycombe pic.twitter.com/AfKNXlbdkH
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 22, 2021
Joe Bray, Manchester City writer for Manchester Evening News, gave his opinion on Pep’s proposal: For the second time in a week, Pep Guardiola has got it completely wrong when trying to discuss what’s best for Manchester City.
“Last week, he caused an unnecessary storm by calling for more City fans to turn up for the next home game. Supporters, understandably, didn’t take too kindly to their manager seemingly taking their loyal support for granted. A clarification, of sorts, was issued by the manager (but no apology) and a line has been drawn under the matter.
“Now, Guardiola has risked another controversy by reigniting a debate on introducing Premier League academy sides into the Football League.
“They’re comments that are likely to go under the radar, namely because Guardiola called popular Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa a ‘legend’ of the English game. In that assertion, he wasn’t wrong.
“Naturally, the Akinfenwa comments provide an easy – and interesting – headline from a largely unremarkable win against lower league opposition. Fans should be concerned, though, with Guardiola’s decision to bring up a radical restructure of English football. Again.
“In short, Guardiola has misjudged another complicated issue, with his Blue-tinted glasses looking only with Manchester City’s interests in mind.
“Adding under-23 sides to the EFL pyramid would have far more dangerous consequences for the English game than any benefits City would gain. It should be seen as a proposal just as concerning to every English football fan as the European Super League plans were.
“There is, of course, a precedent of academy sides playing league opposition in the controversial EFL Trophy. It’s a competition City have been relatively successful in since taking part, and the experience of facing professional players rather than fellow teenagers has been undoubtedly beneficial for the youngsters at City.
“On the other side of those games, though, is an apprehension from league clubs and a strong unpopularity from EFL fans. Games against academy sides result in consistently low attendances for EFL clubs at a time when they need any penny they can get. Only 860 watched this season’s win at Scunthorpe, and 1,802 were at Doncaster for City’s defeat on Tuesday. Both were comfortably the lowest attendances of the season for those league sides by some margin.
“For a supporter of a league club, playing a Premier League academy holds no appeal, and a night in watching Sky Sports is far more appetising – even in spite of reduced admission prices for those games. Holding such fixtures on a regular basis in a league format would inevitably result in lower incomes for proud, historic league clubs when they need to build support the most.
“City only have to look around Greater Manchester to see the perilous financial positions of their EFL neighbours. Oldham fans are in civil war with their ownership and are rooted to the bottom of the Football League, while Rochdale have had to stave off a hostile takeover this summer after relegation to the fourth tier. Bury couldn’t survive their own financial problems, neither could Macclesfield, while Bolton and Wigan are only just recovering from serious threats to their own existences.
“Guardiola’s idea would make it even tougher for clubs up against it. Clubs who have given City a number of talented players and staff in recent years, and helped develop some of their brightest youngsters. Clubs who have been more successful than City as recently as the start of the century, and who have bruised the Blues’ ego when coming toe to toe on a level playing field in various competitions.
“Forcing academy sides into their leagues would be an act of complete arrogance from an elite club who often do well to remember their roots from the same leagues Guardiola would like to rip up and restructure. 20 years ago, it would be City opposing such plans.
“It’s worth remembering that Guardiola did clarify that he is not here to change anything when raising the issue. But it’s not the first time he’s brought it up. The idea of ‘B Teams’ is commonplace in Spain, and Barcelona B was his breakthrough in coaching. It is part of the culture in Spain and has a workable place in a country with a smaller league pyramid than England.
“There is also some merit to the ideas. City’s youngsters are too good for the academy leagues, and there’s not an opportunity to slowly incorporate them into the first team. City have done well to develop youngsters in senior training, resulting in six debuts on Tuesday, and they have used the loan market to develop other talents well.
“But what Greater Manchester does not need is more clubs. The struggles of those that are still standing show there are arguably too many already. City’s success – and that of United, too, of course – is enough of a competition to these EFL clubs.
“If Guardiola really understands City fans, as he claims, he should also understand the passion that exists further afield in lower leagues. Therefore, he should be aware of how dangerous ‘B Teams’ would be to the EFL pyramid. He can’t keep using City’s journey through the leagues as evidence of their proud history while simultaneously advocating a plan that would threaten the existence of many clubs in the same position City have been. He can’t praise the likes of Wycombe and Cheltenham and Burton while also supporting measures that would make those clubs less competitive.
“As the European Super League backlash showed, football fans value the history and tradition of the sport in this country. They won’t let the big corporations who sit at the top of the Premier League put that under threat, even if they support one of those clubs.
“Maybe City should continue to do what big clubs have always done. Use the EFL to blood their young talent with loans, giving them that regular exposure to men’s football, just as Guardiola wants.
“Guardiola has identified a problem with a clear solution – help yourself and help the EFL clubs through the loan system at the same time. The game time he wants for his youngsters exists through carefully-planned loans.
“Replacing those clubs and providing direct competition to them is absolutely not the answer. Guardiola should know better.”
Fans reacted as the Accrington owner slams Pep Guardiola over the ‘offensive’ suggestion…
@Mossie_Howie: My clubs a month away from liquidation and he has the audacity to come out with this bollox 😡🤬
@rhosoftherovers: Maybe if they reinstated a proper, competitive, reserve league they wouldn’t need to sabotage the EFL’s competitions? Or they could stop hoovering up the EFL youngsters without fair compensation so they are still playing against Wycombe at 19/20 then pay a fair price if they make the grade?
@MrWayneGarton: He is just a cheque book manager, has everything on a plate and keeps moaning. He only wants u23 teams in the league because he started in Barcelona B in the third tier in Spain, and got them promoted, with Messi, Busquets and Pedro
@SteveSt94352512: Well said Andy 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
@jimcurtisbbn: He should remember where his precious Manchester city were 20 years ago. 3rd tier football, giving 6 points to Wycombe and jealous of Stockport county
@trfc2019: I really don’t feel they realise how many would walk away from football if B Teams came in,look at the pizza attendances,there is zero interest in it,I have asked before but would the lower leagues break away?
@pabintnorth78: Some of these big club fans agreeing. They’ve never supported a team in the lower league so don’t get it. Ain’t no way a team like ours would get 15,000 against a Man City B in League 2. That’s what makes our pyramid the best in the business.
@DN35GTFC: Buys a player from a local team at 14 years old for £50k hoard them in their youth team don’t do anything with them then release them at 22 with no experience. Want it all their own way. Leave them with their club let them grow but them for £10m
@piddon73: Maybe then they shouldn’t stock pile players. They should release them so they can play in the championship and league One every week if that’s their level.
@AccyForza: Hate the guy. Doesn’t GET English football
@jbennett1997: I’d hope if anything like that came in as a vote it would be shot down, then again they’ve already got into the pizza cup
@lukeCFC25: He honestly doesn’t get English football does he. The pyramid is great because it doesn’t have B-Teams ruining it. If he’s moaning about all the matches as well, get rid of the league cup and EFL trophy. Much rather have a stronger FA cup over anything else
@79Ackers: I wonder how Man City would’ve reacted back in the 98-99 season when they were 3rd tier. I’m sure their fans would’ve loved them playing Man Utd under 23’s in a league game. Short memory.
@FACupFactfile: Maybe if clubs like Man City didn’t hoard so many players then they would be playing for clubs in the 3rd tier and getting the type of game exposure he advocates… #PremierLeague B teams in pyramid should never happen #BTeamBoycott
1. Stop stockpiling young players
2. distribute wealth more fairly so lower league academies can be improved
3. wind your neck in
@TimCotton81: Can’t wait til he leaves Man City. His constant pushing of B teams needs to stop!
@_RyMcCluskey: Imagine someone like Gillingham or Shrewsbury been relegated from League One on the final day and Manchester City U23 stayed up there would be outrage youth sides have zero place in the pyramid they have their development PL divisions where they belong.
@Blakers3: Honestly getting fed up with this bollocks. We have a great system if done correctly from non-league all the way to the top. All clubs matter at any level and Pep for me is everything I hate with this modern approach. Fucking loan them to teams in lower leagues like we use to