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Pep Guardiola begs fans to fill Etihad and cries double standards over Chelsea and Man City spending

Pep Guardiola begs his club’s fans to fill the Etihad Stadium and cries double standards over Chelsea and Man City spending.

As ever, his press conferences are always worth a watch, and it was no different this time around when interviewed by the media ahead of this weekend’s matches.

Pep now pleads with Manchester City fans to pack out the Etihad for the game against Newcastle United, their first home game of the 2023/24 Premier League season.

Man City welcome Newcastle on Saturday, just days after winning the Super Cup after beating Sevilla 5-4 on penalties.

The Sky Blues began their league campaign with a 3-0 winover Vincent Kompany’s Burnley and hope to go two league wins in two matches against Eddie Howe’s side.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “We need our people [Man City fans] more, more, more than ever!

“Tomorrow hopefully we will have the stadium full [vs. Newcastle]. Stay with us please, because we are not in our best moment.

“Especially in our bad moment, please stay with us because we need the noise and support…”

The Magpies thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 in the season opener, with the Man City boss insisting they are ready for the challenge that awaits them.

“Of course, we are ready [for Newcastle]. We are the team who everyone wants to beat,” he added.

“We need these type of challenges [like vs Newcastle]. We face difficulties with the injuries we have, the calendar… This is the challenge we have to take a step forward. We need that. That is what it is.”

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has claimed Man City would be “killed” if they spent the sort of sums being coughed up by Chelsea over the last 12 months.

“I couldn’t sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows – you would kill me,” Guardiola said. “You will kill me, that is for sure. We’d be under scrutiny like you couldn’t imagine.

“When people say just Manchester City and Pep Guardiola buy players, I didn’t know I had a lot of money in my pocket to buy all the players I have.

“We have to see what happens in the market and if we can do it and to pay what we believe is fair.

“We wanted (Harry) Maguire and didn’t buy him because we didn’t want to pay, we wanted (Marc) Cucurella and didn’t pay, we wanted Alexis Sanchez and didn’t pay.

“In the end we will pay what is fair to do it. Otherwise, we have the academy.”

Guardiola was adamant he was not criticising Chelsea, but the Catalan clearly feels a sense of double standards.

“They can do what they want,” he added. “I don’t criticise Chelsea for one second. I’m saying, if we do it, we are dead, all around the world. They can do whatever they want…

“If they want to spend, I don’t know, £900m since (Boehly) arrived, 900 more, 900 more. They have it. The business is the business. They sell a lot this season so they can do it.

“I don’t like when they criticise me, what we do, what I have to say. Everyone has their own business and everyone does what is best for the club.

“Everybody wins. Tell me the truth: are you enjoying a lot the transfer window? This player, the other one, every few minutes on Sky TV, a new player here, new player there. It’s so funny.”

“Everybody complains about Saudi Arabia, the clubs, then they open the door, red carpet, ‘What do you want my friend?”‘ Guardiola said. “They sell everything. They are so happy. Everyone complains but everyone opens the door.”

“We maybe need to add someone else,” Guardiola said on a replacement for De Bruyne. “My opinion is I like a small squad. But the blow from Kevin changes the perspective. He is a very important player and it is not one or two weeks.

“It’s four or five months, he’s 32 years old and he needs to be physical because of the way he plays physically. So we have to reflect a bit on the squad and think about what we have to do but we have to control.

“But we are not the only ones spending a lot of money in the last few years.”

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