Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has once again defended Sergio Aguero after Gary Neville’s suggestion that the attacker apologize for putting his arm on assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis’s shoulder.
In City’s 1-0 win against Arsenal last Saturday, Aguero challenged a throw-in decision before touching Massey-Ellis as she turned to walk away, an incident that has been widely criticized.
Pundit Neville told CNN, “I think (he) is best served by apologizing.”
Pep Guardiola continues to defend Sergio Aguero after his controversial gesture
Aguero has come under fire for putting his arm around Sian Massey-Ellis during a match
After reviewing the incident, the Football Association was convinced that match officials did not believe any formal action was necessary.
Right after the match, Guardiola described Aguero as “the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life,” adding, “Look for problems in other situations, not this one.”
On Friday he was asked whether on reflection he thought that Agüero should have apologized, after Neville’s comment and criticism of the Argentinian from Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, among others.
Gary Neville said Aguero had to publicly apologize and criticized the striker’s actions
Guardiola said, “I know Aguero perfectly. It’s like what happened to Bernardo Silva and (Benjamin) Mendy. People who come from outside, I do not judge. I know Sergio’s intent.
‘He puts his hands in a normal way, which he often does to me, on and off the field, or when I hug him when there has been a substitution, or when he sometimes touches the referees too.
“I didn’t see … if I might see some aggression or anything. I think it was normal because I know Sergio perfectly, who is an incredible, big star of world football and one of the most humble and nicest people I have ever met.
‘The main (thing) is the intention, and the intention was to talk to her in a normal way. And I’m pretty sure – I didn’t talk to Sergio about this – if she felt bad, he’d apologize without a problem.
“It’s the same as what happened to Bernardo, I know him very well, it was a joke and today was a normal situation.”
In 2019, Silva was banned for one game, fined £ 50,000 and ordered to take an educational course after his Twitter post compared his City teammate Mendy to the mascot of the Conguitos confectionery brand. A regulatory committee found the tweet was not intentionally racist.
The Manchester City forward initially complained to Massey-Ellis about a throw-in decision for Arsenal
As she walked down the sidelines, Aguero continued to protest, then laid hands on her
Guardiola spoke on Friday ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham, the first of three away games for City in eight days. That’s in the middle of a 23-day period with seven games between international breaks.
Guardiola – who has recently suffered a number of injuries to his squad – had already been labeled that the team face ‘completely crazy for everyone, especially the teams that play in Europe’ on the schedule, and went on to say what it was like ” too much for the players. ‘
He said: ‘I love football. I know the trade. But it is too much for the players. To sell a better product, you have to go for quality.
“ (There are) 365 days, and we have to do all the competitions and matches, and with what happened with Covid-19 last season, the calendar is tougher.
‘But I think it’s too much for everyone – at least for the teams that play in Europe. For the others it may be less.
‘We have 10 days, 15 days and we have to start over – pre-season, the Community Shield, the first games. That is the reason why the players get injured. It’s no secret. You just pray that everyone finishes the game without any problems. ‘
A later announcement about television matches revealed that City’s home game against Liverpool had been moved to Sunday, October 8.
Guardiola says people are quick to judge, such as Bernardo Silva (top, center) and Benjamin Mendy (bottom right) and a joke they shared on social media
After Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Porto, Portuguese side boss Sergio Conceicao said Guardiola’s ‘attitude was extremely unpleasant’ during the match.
Asked about that, Guardiola said, “We didn’t want it to be unpleasant. He believes we are, so maybe he’s right. I do not think so. If he believes this, it’s okay. ‘
A report on Friday said Guardiola, whose current contract with City expires next summer, was in talks with the club about a new deal, but the 49-year-old said that was not the case.
When asked if the schedule made it difficult to think about things like his contract, he said, “I can think of many things, no problem.”
He was then asked if a player’s mindset changes when they know a manager will stay in the next season, saying, ‘Absolutely not. They want to play well every game. ‘