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Pep Guardiola ‘sorry’ for hurting Kalvin Phillips with ‘overweight’ comment as player hits back

Pep Guardiola says he is ‘sorry’ for hurting Kalvin Phillips with a comment about being ‘overweight’ as the player hits back.

The West Ham player, on loan from Man City, has criticised Pep Guardiola’s treatment of him after the manager stated that the midfielder was unfit to train after returning from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Phillips considers this to be the most challenging moment of his career, and his family believes that Guardiola’s personal remarks were inappropriate.

Because of Pep’s comments, Phillips now faces taunts from opposition fans, more recently it coming from Man Utd supporters.

Phillips admitted, per the Mirror: “When Pep came out and said I was overweight, he was right to do so but there are different ways to go about it. I did not disagree with him but obviously it took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City I would probably say that. And my family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum.”

Guardiola, who previously benched Sergio Aguero due to being overweight, has consistently disciplined players for surpassing his set weight limits during his time as a manager.

However, Phillips states that his delayed return to Man City, coming 10 days after England’s quarter-final loss to France and 16 days after his last match in the tournament against Senegal, wasn’t intentional.

He added: “People can say overweight – overweight for some people is like 10kg. I was probably 1.5kg over my weight target.

“I think obviously Pep was frustrated that I didn’t come back into training early but it was just miscommunication between the people that worked at City and myself.

“I got told to be back on a certain date and I was always going to go back earlier than that date anyway because I hadn’t played that much for England during the tournament.

“I’d just recovered from my shoulder injury so Pep wanted me to come in the day after we finished the tournament so I could be involved in the friendlies. I never got that information because if he asked me to have been there, I would have been there.

Phillips concluded: “My mum has always been there to support me. She got frustrated when I was at City, she didn’t come to watch as much because she didn’t like going to watch football without me playing.

“That is just how some mums are. She is a person that has always supported me and she always will. Whatever decision I take in football she will always be there to support me. I could have gone anywhere in the world and she would have been there to watch me.”

“I’m sorry,” said Guardiola. “I do apologise to him. I’m so sorry.”

“I did speak about that,” added the City boss. “I never before said something here [to the media] without speaking to the player.”

Phillips has endured some bad luck at the start of his loan spell with West Ham, making two appearances, and got sent off at Nottingham Forest.

He said on getting a red card (two yellow cards in the space of two minutes and 56 seconds), per Nottingham Post: “They say bad luck comes in threes, so let’s hope I’ve had my three pieces of it and I can kick on now,” he said.

“I wanted this to be a fresh start, to really get my head down and go for it. It’s not gone as I would have hoped. Everyone can see that.

“But I know football. I’m experienced enough to know that if I get my head down and grit my teeth and do the basics right that things will turn.

“It’s easy to say, but now I’ve got to do it.

“There are certain things you need to do on a football pitch. OK, I was training with the best team in the world, but games get you sharper.

“You can train all you like but you are never going to really get match fit and match sharp unless you play games, do you?

“So, that’s the reason I’m frustrated and gutted.

He tried to speak with referee Thomas Bramall after the game, only to be left lft the City Ground frustrated.

“I’m annoyed with myself over the first booking. He’s got my shoulder and I’ve tried to push him off – perhaps next time I should kick the ball at him to make my point,” he adds.

“I was frustrated and we were losing. But it’s something I’ll learn from.

“With the second, I’ve not made any contact with Morgan (Gibbs-White). He’s jumped up and that’s fair enough but – honestly – I didn’t make any contact.

“I’ve waited outside the referee’s room to have a chat with him.

“I wanted to have a word but it’s been half an hour now and he’s not come out. I don’t know if he knows I was there or not. I didn’t want to batter him. I just wanted to have a conversation with him about it.

“But it looks like I’m going home now without saying my piece and I’m just disappointed – more so because I’m working hard to get myself back into a position where I can help and now I’ve got to miss a game.”

Twitter users reacted having seen Pep Guardiola say ‘sorry’ for hurting Kalvin Phillips with his ‘overweight’ comment as the player hits back…

@tadaitspada: Condescending prick

@ArsenalOclock: Is it just me or is he 1 of theeee most unlikeable people ever

@LeeCharleton: Hes definitely like ffs i thought us shipping him out would be the last id have to hear about him 😂

@Yh6789fcv: I’m more sorry than you can believe, more than you can believe

@guynamedjoe_: bro isn’t sorry 😭

@dems199991: You can tell he does not mean this at all and tbh no apology was needed anyway.

@pauljoneslufc: It’s so obvious he just wants this to go away and is clearly irritated by the question so answers very quickly and disingenuously

@mdonald1987: Yeah, really sincere this 🙄

@claratsi: It’s cringe when this fraud apologises. If you’re gonna say sorry say it like you mean-it or don’t bother, not sure he even owes him one tbh.

@FulhamTransfer: He looks way off it fitness wise atm

@MrManCity8: It may sound harsh but who are we to question the standards of the greatest coach in modern football, arguably in all football. If he thinks being even 1kg overweight will impact his philosophy then I believe him.

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