Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has joked about Kalvin Phillips’ sexy body, while expressing optimism he will soon return to full fitness.
The Citizens hammered Premier League arch-rivals, Liverpool in the Carabao cup and edged past Leeds at Elland Road in the Premier League.
Despite playing second fiddle to Premier League high-flyers Arsenal in the title race, nothing is missing from Manchester City. They are as deadly as the depth of quality in the team and are comfortably ahead of other rivals, apart from the Gunners, in the title race.
However, in their last two games, Pep Guardiola revealed he still has a lot of tasks in the team after players returned from the World Cup break.
One player that fell from the expectation of Pep Guardiola is Kalvin Philips. The England international returned from the 2022 World Cup to meet the scold and fury of Pep Guardiola.
In the game against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, the Spain tactician did not hide his disapproval of Kalvin’s condition after his return.
He complained the England international had added weight and was not fit to be named in the squad that faced Liverpool.
He did not include Kalvin Philips in the starting lineup and left him out of the traveling squad.
In the game against Leeds, it appears Pep Guardiola has buckled down on Kalvin Philips. He was named in the substitutes but did not bring him on throughout the game.
This implies Pep Guardiola has made a U-turn on the 27-year-old weight issues but still holds some reservations about the player.
Speaking after the 3-1 win over Leeds United, Pep Guardiola said;
“He [Phillips] has the perfect body now – so sexy.”
Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola went vague on the likelihood of featuring him in Manchester City’s next Premier League clash against Everton at Etihad.
“We will see for the weekend. He has spent the first part of the season out with surgery to arrive for the World Cup – and did everything to get to the World Cup”, the coach said.
Despite his reservations about Kalvin Philips progress on his condition, Pep Guardiola said he has improved in training.
“But I’m happy that yesterday, for example, Kalvin trained really well, and sooner or later, he will play”, the coach added.
Pep Guardiola undermines Erling Haaland’s Brace Vs Leeds
Erling Haaland did not make it to the World Cup, but he continued from where he stopped before the World Cup break.
The Norwegian bagged a brace to help Manchester City seal a 3-1 victory over Leeds at Elland Road. He has now netted 25 times in 20 matches for Manchester City.
Erling Haaland said missing out on the World Cup drove him a “bit mad” and has made him “hungrier” after scoring twice in the win at Leeds.
“I’ve been at home, being a bit mad that I’m not playing at the World Cup,” Haaland told Amazon Prime.
“To watch other people score to win games at the World Cup kind of triggers me, kind of motivates me, and irritates me. I’m more hungry, and I’m more ready than ever.”
However, Pep Guardiola has maintained Erling Haaland still got more to do to return to form after the World Cup break.
He lauded his intimidating and threatening skills but admitted he is not at his best and has to do more because of the foot injury he picked up before the World Cup.
However, he is hopeful the former Borussia Dortmund star will return to full fitness as he moves on.
“He’s an incredible threat for us and always in the right position at the right time, really good”, he said.
“I think he is still not at his best because of the injury, to move his huge body is not easy for him, but as much as he can play minutes, (he) will be better.”
With the win at Elland Road, Manchester City have now closed the gap to five points on Premier League leaders Arsenal.