A week and a half ago, Pep Guardiola was looking ahead to the match against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Manchester City drawing Eddie Howe’s side away from home in the Carabao Cup third round.

At that point, both Manchester City and Newcastle United facing a very busy spell, with six games each to play before the next international break.

Those six games for both, started on Tuesday 19 September and end on Sunday 8 October, the first and sixth matches only 19 days apart.

Pep Guardiola stating that he would be playing youth team players against Newcastle United and just a case of how many end up playing in this Carabao Cup game at St James’ Park.

Pep Guardiola looking ahead to the Newcastle United away match in the Carabao Cup, back on 18 September 2023:

“The problem when you have a lot of injuries, is maybe not today, but over three, four, five games.

“We have to go away to Newcastle in the Carabao Cup (on 27 September) and I’m sorry, but we are going to have to play with some players from the second team, because we cannot take the risks.

“When you have all the squad you go to Newcastle with a good team, but now we just have to rest, recover well, train and try to arrive on the day of the game in the best condition possible.

“We cannot waste energy.”

Pep Guardiola though saying something very different on the eve of this Newcastle United game.

An embarrassing confession from the Manchester City boss…

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Pep Guardiola speaking ahead of the match at St James’ Park – 26 September 2023:

“Unfortunately, the second team, we cannot take a few of them because we sold a lot of them, and still they (second team players who weren’t sold or loaned out) are not ready to play with us.

“That is why we have to give time to them to develop.

“We cannot just bring them from the academy and play them there (at St James’ Park).

“They need time to develop.

“We have a training session (before the Newcastle United match) and maybe they (first team squad players) come and say they are fresh and want to play.

“We will train and see.

“I have to see the training, still have a plan and an idea but not the starting 11 completely.

“I want to see the team training and we will see.

“We have more time to recover. I don’t want to take risks. Maybe they have to play, definitely but it is what it is.”

So basically, Pep Guardiola admitting that a week and a half ago he wasn’t telling the truth.

Instead, the Manchester City manager making up a load of embarrassing nonsense in order to extract sympathy for poor old little, so few resources, Man City forced into playing youth players because they had a few injuries and a busy schedule.

When instead he admit now the reality is that there was never any intention of playing any second team players in this Newcastle match, or indeed any other first team game.

Rather, the reality is that poor little Man City and Pep Guardiola will be ‘forced’ into playing the likes of England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who cost close to the highest ever transfer fee Newcastle United have ever paid for a player.

The reality of course is that Pep Guardiola has an embarrassment of riches and if indeed Man City did lose at St James’ Park, it won’t be because they were at some massive, nor indeed any, disadvantage and having to play inexperienced kids.


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