Pep Guardiola gives short shrift to Liverpool’s fixture complaints | Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has laughed off Jürgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s complaints about their schedule this week by saying if he allowed Manchester City’s fixture timetable to affect him he would go and manage in the Maldives.

Klopp is unhappy that after facing Villarreal on Wednesday in the Champions League his team travel to Newcastle for Saturday’s early kick-off. This moved his club to try to change the time of the match.

When Guardiola was asked how he viewed the German’s remarks, his initial answer had a cutting tone. “Always I sympathise about the concerns of Liverpool,” he said. “How many times have we discussed what’s happened to us and I’ve said I don’t want to talk about that. It’s not going to change because the broadcasters are thinking about what they have to do to get more viewers.

“Of course I understand it but what can I say? Sir Alex Ferguson was the most important icon in the history of English football and he was complaining [about this] when he was a teenager. We played in Madrid against Atlético and three days later we played at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Chelsea played Tuesday [of that week] and could have played on Saturday but played on Sunday [in the other semi-final]. Do you think they [broadcasters] think about that? No, because the next Tuesday, Liverpool play against United. Everyone has their own business to defend. We adapt.

“If I’m not satisfied I go home and don’t be manager of Man City. I go to another league in the Maldives, and play one game a week and I’m so comfortable under the coconuts. But it’s not the case. You are playing at 12.30 – I’m sorry, Liverpool, but I’m not involved with that.”

Guardiola offered a quip when asked whether there was disappointment that Mohamed Salah was voted the Football Writers’ men’s player of the year instead of Kevin De Bruyne.

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“Congrats to Salah,” he said. “Jürgen says they have the best keeper, defender, midfielder, strikers so it’s normal for them to win the award,” Klopp has said that Alisson is the best No 1 and his deputy, Caoimhín Kelleher, the finest No 2.

City are at Leeds later on Saturday, knowing if they win there and their final four matches they retain the title. Guardiola has no concern regarding his players feeling the pressure. “They have been here many times,” he said. “These players, I know them.” John Stones and Kyle Walker remain injured.

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