‘Little bit hard to take’ – Man City star Kalvin Phillips admits annoyed with Pep Guardiola’s statement last season

Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips has admitted that he disagreed with Pep Guardiola’s suggestion that he returned from last year’s World Cup in Qatar “overweight”.

Following City’s first match following the World Cup break, in which they defeated Liverpool 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, Guardiola publicly criticized the former Leeds United star. Phillips was unexpectedly absent from the matchday roster after playing just two substitute minutes for England in Qatar.

In the time, Phillips’ absence was assumed to be due to injury, especially considering that John Stones, Jack Grealish, and Phil Foden—all England stars who played a larger role in the World Cup—were also involved. Guardiola said that he was unhappy with Phillips’ condition upon his return, claiming that he was “overweight” and “not in the right condition to train.”

Though the situation was soon resolved, Phillips has now given his side of the story, saying that he did not consider himself to be overweight. While he accepted and respected the City boss’ comments, he felt the situation was blown out of all proportion.

“To be honest, it was a little bit hard to take [the criticism], just because of how much it was oversized and how many people started talking about it,” Phillips told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I know the manager made his comments and stuff like that but I respected them.

“I, for me, wasn’t overweight, but obviously the manager saw it in a different way. I took it, did my best to try and get as fit as possible and I was on the bench for the Leeds game straight after that.

“I was fit for every game since then. It was just one of those things where it was a misunderstanding between me and some staff members. You will see a lot more of it in the documentary and how I got into it all.”

Phillips had a challenging first season in City colors after moving from Leeds to the Etihad Stadium last summer. He only made 21 appearances in all competitions. Despite not having any precise goals in mind, he wishes the upcoming campaign would be more successful.

Asked if he sets himself targets, he added: “I used to do that when I was younger and I don’t really do that now; I just know how difficult it is.

“At Leeds it was very different for me because I was playing every single game and I knew that no matter what I would probably be in the starting line-up. Now it has kind of changed, where I am not expecting to be in the team or expecting to start.

“But if I don’t start I am going to push to try and get myself involved a lot more. Obviously I would love to play a lot more, be involved in the team a lot more and winning games, but I know how difficult it is and I hope this season is a lot better for me in that way.”

Pep Guardiola enjoyed a lavish life in a luxury Manchester city-centre mansion

The Spaniard decided to reside in Manchester’s city center rather than other football stars’ preferred suburbs with lots of villas.

The Guardiolas eventually relocated to a lavish apartment in Manchester’s Deansgate City Suites.

His apartment is furnished but has a modern, minimalistic design. Tim Allen serves as the chef at a well-known restaurant that is located directly on the ground floor of the residence of the Man City coach. Pep is welcome to stop by at any time to eat.

Pep leases a private floor rather than an apartment. Pep now has the best space to unwind and avoid interruptions thanks to the owners of Man City.

The Guardiolas eventually moved to trendy Deansgate

The Man City manager now lives at the plush City Suites in the city centre

The City manager can unwind in the private swimming pool

The City manager’s eventual choice of home in Manchester means he can keep himself in shape in the private gym

The City boss can cook up a feast in the kitchen… or rely on the ground floor restaurant’s top chef

The building Guardiola lives in is a 16-storey high rise

Guardiola can chill out in the luxurious living area

Each apartment has a plush modern bathroom

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