Pep Guardiola interview: Every word of the Manchester City manager's furious Sky Sports appearance

In a Pep Guardiola interview on Sky Sports, the Spaniard seemed furious with Patrick Davison
(Image credit: Sky Sports)

A Pep Guardiola interview for the ages? Few have ever seen the Manchester City boss quite so animated, as he questioned the desire of his players and fans.

Speaking to Sky Sports (opens in new tab)' Patrick Davison, the Catalan was incandescent with the situation that his side found themselves in, as City trailed Tottenham 2-0 at half-time after a meek first 45. Sure, the champions turned the tide in explosive fashion to win 4-2 – but when asked if he was happy, Guardiola scrunched up his face and declared, "Of course I'm not". 

Here's every word of his unbelievable rant (opens in new tab) after the Tottenham win – before the City boss stormed out of the interview, refusing to reveal what he'd said at half-time. 

Every word of the Pep Guardiola interview after Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shouts instructions to John Stones during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on January 19, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Pep Guardiola appeared to be furious with his City stars, despite a four-goal turnaround at the Etihad last night (Image credit: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Well, Pep, what did you say at half-time? Because whatever it was, it worked…

Do you believe that?

It's a question…

You have to prepare better.

People keep telling me that.

Yeah, I cannot deny how happy we are but we are far away from the team that we were. Not in terms of play, we play good enough itself but there are many things, in terms of competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do, in many many things that we are far away. Far away. So, with Rico Lewis, they concede four fouls but they're, of course, not yellow cards because it's Rico Lewis. You know, we don't react. We give the first goal and after the second goal is ridiculous but we keep on. And we play short and we play because, 'our manager told me we have to do this and we have to do this…' but there is nothing from the stomach, from the guts. Today we are lucky. But sooner or later, if we don't change, we're going to drop points.

So what are the things that are missing? Guts, for one, that you're talking about…

Passion, fire and desire to win and from minute one. It's the same from our spectators, our fans. They are silent [for] 45 minutes.

And then they booed at half-time, some of them.

Eh, we played good. They booed because we were losing but not because we played bad. We played good, we had more chances. Expected goals from Tottenham was zero, from us, 0.89. So we were better. They booed because we were losing. But it is the same for our team, maybe we are so comfortable winning four Premier Leagues in five years. That's why we, you know. After we scored a goal, they react but… that's not the point.

So do you think that from players and spectators maybe, four titles in five years, a lot of success – loads of success – maybe a little bit of fire has gone out of everything?

Definitely, otherwise we do not concede the goals that we concede every single game. We give them. We give them. We then go and score the goals, yes, congratulations but we give them. And today we are lucky but the day after we will not be lucky. 

So how do you get that back, that fire, the guts you're talking about?

I will insist. That is my duty, my job. I want my fans back. I want my fans in here. Not my away fans, my away fans are the best. But my fans here, for the new ones who support every corner and every action, and support it. Because we play, we cannot expect – because Tottenham is one of the toughest opponents I ever faced, from Antonio [Conte], how they defend, how good they are organised, how good they build up, how they link with Harry Kane, how Kulusevski, Son, even Bentancur, they make incredible switches of play to the opposite side. The threat they in have every single moment is incredible. So I couldn't expect really here four goals in 30 minutes. I don't know but sometimes you need the game, like we have done. But we have gifted them. 

Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on January 19, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Royad Mahrez put on a stunning second-half display to rescue the three points for City (Image credit: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

In some ways, do you think the players have to give the spectators more…

No, no, no, no, listen…

…If you're saying the guts aren't there, the fire isn't there, maybe that happens but…

Understand, we have to do it but everyone is like… relaxed. You know? The Premier League doesn't wait. We have an opponent like Arsenal who are like… they have the fire. 

Do you think they look like a team that hasn't won the Premier League for a long time and you look like a team that has won the Premier League four in five?

Two decades! 

I know.

That they haven't won the Premier League and every player knows they will be in history. Like, we felt when we won the Premier League and we broke all the records and we won another one back-to-back and two times back-to-back. In life, in everything, we have the fire inside, it's not [there]. We don't ask anything, I just explain the reality that everything is so comfortable. And opponents don't wait. The opponents are there – and you tell me, 'Oh Pep, how bad,' no, we are second in the league. So we are not 20 points behind.

Pep Guardiola speaks to Patrick Davison on Sky Sports

Pep stormed out of the interview with Patrick Davison (Image credit: Sky Sports)

Well you're not happy, are you? It's not my questions, is it? You're not happy with your players?

Of course, I'm not! I don't recognise my team! My team always had desire and passion in everyone and would run everything. 

Obviously, you've told this to everyone as well in the dressing room…

…I don't have to tell you what I said.

Come on, tell us what you said!

No, absolutely not.

OK, thank you.

Thank you.

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.