Pep Guardiola has apologized to Kalvin Phillips for publicly revealing that the midfielder was overweight last season.
Phillips was told to stay away from Manchester City over Christmas for failing to reach his target weight after returning from a post-World Cup holiday in New York.
The 28-year-old, who has had a turbulent start on loan at West Ham United, recently admitted he was hurt by the way Guardiola announced the matter through the press.
His mother, Lindsay, stopped attending City games. Phillips has said that he does not disagree with Guardiola’s assessment, but that there are “different ways of approaching” things. Since then, the couple has never discussed the topic.
“Yes, I’m sorry,” Guardiola said. ‘(Apologizing) once every eight years is not bad. But I’m very sorry. I apologize. I apologize. Very sorry.’
Pep Guardiola has apologized for his public mockery of Kalvin Phillips’ “overweight”
Phillips disagreed with Guardiola’s approach on the matter, stating that “there are different ways to approach it.”
Since then, the midfielder (right) has had a turbulent start on loan at West Ham.
In an interview with Mail Sport last summer, Phillips claimed he did not find out about Guardiola’s comments until he returned to training.
“Oh no, I talked about that,” the City boss added. When asked when they spoke, he replied: ‘Before. I spoke with him. “I never said anything here before (before) talking to the players in that case.”
Phillips saw red during West Ham’s weekend defeat at Nottingham Forest, as he made two goals-contributing errors in his first appearances for the club. His other game was a 6-0 win over Arsenal, when he came off the bench.
The England international has maintained that he “laughed” at the public furor over his weight last year, adding to Mail Sport: “It doesn’t faze me.” I am a footballer and I live my dream, doing what I love.
“I had gone to New York for three or four days after Qatar. I flew all day. I had breakfast, lunch, dinner and landed. I also slept during the flight. And straight to football.
‘I had had a full day eating. There’s water retention and stuff on a flight. It really was a misunderstanding.’ Guardiola, who bristled at questions about the pressure on City after their 1-1 draw with Chelsea, can lift his team into second place with a win over Brentford on Tuesday night.
The first match at the Gtech Stadium, played just a fortnight ago, ended with a fight between Kyle Walker and Neal Maupay.
Walker was left outraged by comments made by Maupay, who this week denied inciting the row by mentioning the City captain’s family following revelations about his private life.
Man City face Brentford just weeks after Kyle Walker clashed with Neal Maupay
Guardiola suggested Walker had put the incident behind him but stopped short of insisting there won’t be another flashpoint at the Etihad Stadium.
“I don’t want it, but sometimes there are emotions and it happens,” he said. ‘You know it. But this (incident) is forgotten, it happened, I think they talked and that’s it.
‘During my time at Barcelona I had the record for most yellow cards. All the time was to talk, talk, talk. So it depends, sometimes I controlled myself, sometimes I behaved like a crazy person. People say (now) ‘Ah, he can’t control.’ As a soccer player I was the same.”
Meanwhile, Brentford manager Thomas Frank believes Phil Foden can become the fourth Englishman to win the Ballon d’Or when his side go head-to-head with the City star on Tuesday.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank says Phil Foden is a potential Ballon d’Or winner in the future
Michael Owen was the last English player to win football’s biggest individual award in 2001, with Kevin Keegan, who won it in 1976 and 77, and Stanley Matthews in 1956, the only others to lift it.
“Foden is a very good player, for me he is the closest England will get to winning a Ballon d’Or in the future,” Frank said.
“He can influence the game in many ways, the last game against us he was at the end of three situations and scored three goals. He is a very good dribbler and works very hard for the team.
“I don’t know him, but from the outside he has a good mentality, he is very good and plays regularly for one of the best teams in the world.
“When I see him play I really like him as a player.”