EPL

It is always diving - Guardiola hits out at VAR

By Sports Desk October 19, 2019

Pep Guardiola made no effort to hide his irritation after Manchester City were denied a penalty in their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

City have been on the receiving end of some tough VAR calls this campaign, most notably in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in August when Gabriel Jesus' stoppage-time goal was ruled out for what appeared to be an accidental handball by Aymeric Laporte.

The video review system did not help City at Selhurst Park, with the assistant referee deeming Anthony Taylor's decision not to award the visitors a penalty for what seemed to be a blatant push on Kevin De Bruyne by Wilfried Zaha was correct.

Though the decision did not cost City, who missed several chances to further the lead handed to them by Jesus and David Silva, Guardiola was left furious.

"It's diving. It's diving, it's diving," Guardiola, who also referred to a similar incident in a match against Bournemouth earlier in the campaign, sarcastically told a news conference when asked if his team should have had a penalty.

"Every weekend it is always diving. [Like at] Bournemouth. But against Tottenham it was hands, real hands in the 94th minute. It's diving again.

"Of course, I am [frustrated]. Next question."

With Nicolas Otamendi injured and John Stones not fit enough to start, Guardiola named midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri as his centre-back pairing.

"Thank you so much to both of them," Guardiola said.

"It is not easy playing in different positions against the strikers Palace have; Zaha, [Jordan] Ayew, [Christian] Benteke and [Andros] Townsend at the end, they did really well."

At the other end of the pitch, Guardiola elected to start Jesus over Sergio Aguero, with the Brazilian's goal taking him onto 50 for City.

Jesus has now scored in each of his past seven starts in all competitions and Guardiola insisted he is delighted with the performances of his strikers.

"I'm not going to talk about how important Sergio is for our club, he is so important," Guardiola added.

"Gabriel, he came back from Brazil, he had rhythm. Sergio was 10 days away without training, but both are important. When Sergio plays he is at a good level and when Gabriel plays he is at a good level, after that I will take a decision."

Related items

  • Tottenham can win the Premier League, says 'humble' Mourinho Tottenham can win the Premier League, says 'humble' Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham can target the Premier League title next season after he sought to strike a humble tone at his maiden news conference.

    The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss was installed as Spurs' head coach this week in the aftermath of Mauricio Pochettino's shock sacking.

    Dismal domestic form that leaves Tottenham languishing in 14th going into Saturday's London derby at West Ham ultimately brought the end of Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year reign.

    The yawning gap to leaders Liverpool stands at 20 points after 12 games, but Mourinho lavished praise on his new squad and claimed a first league title for Spurs since 1960-61 in 2020-21 is possible.

    "We can't win the Premier League this season," he told reporters.

    "Next season, I'm not saying we will win it, but we can win it."

    Mourinho has spent 11 months out of football since his sacking at Manchester United and the appointment of new faces to his backroom staff – coaches Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille – add to a sense of him turning over a new leaf.

    "I am humble enough to try and analyse my career, not just the last year but my career- the evolution, the problems," he said.

    "The principle of the analysis was not to blame anyone else. When I had meetings with my assistants and the people I wanted to bring with me in this chapter it was on the principle that there was no one else to blame.

    "I'm not going to make the same mistakes. I'm going to make new mistakes. I'm going to be stronger.

    "From an emotional point of view I'm relaxed, motivated and ready and I think the players felt that these two days. I'm ready and I'm here to support them.

    "In life you go through periods like this, where it's not about myself, it's about my players and my club."

    Nevertheless, Mourinho also insisted the playing style and principles that have yielded league titles in four countries will remain, as will his requirement for his players to always put the demands of the collective before themselves.

    "[My style will be] very similar to before. On top of that I will try to add the details and sometimes the details can make the difference," he explained.

    "The style of play has to be always adapted, not just to the club culture but to the playing squad. These are the players, they have their qualities.

    "I read a quote from Kobe Bryant and, if you have to speak about some example of professionalism and a serial winner, Kobe is a great example in the world of sport. He said: 'People say that I am difficult but I am only difficult for the ones who do not share my principles.'

    "All the colleagues who share his principles love him. The ones who don't like him are the ones who don't share the principles. With me it is basically the same.

    "For me everything is about the team, it is not about selfish people. It is about the group, professionalism, commitment, respect for the club, respect for the team-mates.

    "I cannot run away from this. If there is somebody that doesn't share these principles with me then they have a problem and we will always have a problem.

    "This is the way I think football has to be. The players are only big when they make the others better. You cannot be a big player if you only think about yourself. That is another principle."

  • Their way under Pochettino was perfect – Emery surprised to see Tottenham hire Mourinho Their way under Pochettino was perfect – Emery surprised to see Tottenham hire Mourinho

    Unai Emery admits he was surprised by Tottenham's decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino and appoint Jose Mourinho as head coach.

    The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss was appointed on a three-and-a-half-year deal on Wednesday just hours after Pochettino's dismissal was confirmed.

    Arsenal head coach Emery was shocked by the decision as he considered Spurs' methods under Pochettino to be "perfect", while he is uncertain what Mourinho will do to change their fortunes.

    "Yes, it was a surprise," he told reporters on Thursday.

    "I think it's a surprise how the relationship with Mauricio Pochettino finished but I don't know exactly why or how he [Mourinho] is going to change their performance.

    "He is a very good coach. His career is very strong with the titles and experience. I think also Pochettino's work in Tottenham was amazing.

    "In football, things happen very quickly. The last result may be more important than results in the long term because I think Tottenham were doing very good work with Pochettino.

    "Maybe [in] the last matches they didn't achieve good results, but I think, overall, their way under Pochettino was perfect. Now they decided to change, I don't know exactly the reason for that, but they have their way and we have our way.

    "At the moment we have some distance in the table from them and we want to keep that distance for the next matches."

    Pochettino's exit came during a year in which Spurs have managed just 11 wins in the Premier League, only three of which have come this season.

    Emery has also been under pressure of late given Arsenal's run of one win in their past seven games in all competitions, with Mourinho linked with the Gunners' job in recent weeks.

    Emery now wants to draw a line under the scrutiny of his own position and get the fans back onside as they try to improve results.

    "I am optimistic and also, I know we need to improve our performance with the team individually and collectively. I also know how to achieve that," he said.

    "First, it is about connecting with our supporters at the Emirates. Above all, it's not only about thinking about the results but about playing better, controlling the game for 90 minutes.

    "We are winning and drawing - not losing at home - but not really convincing the supporters and this is our first objective.

    "Our success is going to start by being comfortable, strong and confident at home and really deserving to win each match."

    The future of Granit Xhaka has dominated talk of Arsenal lately, the midfielder having not played since he was stripped of the captaincy in the wake of his explosive outburst towards fans during the home draw with Crystal Palace in October.

    Emery says the player's mindset has improved and suggested he could recall the Switzerland international to the playing squad, although it seems unlikely he will return against Southampton on Saturday.

    "He's coming back better in his mind," said Emery. "His mindset is better to help us and closer to play when we need him.

    "This morning I had a very good conversation with him. He was training very well before the international break, he trained very well this morning and also my objective hasn't changed.

    "My objective is for him to come back helping us and convincing everyone that his commitment with us is going to be better and we are going to be proud of him in the short or long future with us.

    "He's feeling better and his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with the confidence of the supporters. Little by little, we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters."

  • Tottenham players are a gift - Mourinho insists he does not need signings Tottenham players are a gift - Mourinho insists he does not need signings

    Jose Mourinho insists he is completely happy with his Tottenham squad and does not feel the need to delve into the transfer market.

    Mourinho signed a three-and-a-half-year contract as Spurs' new head coach on Wednesday as last season's Champions League finalists moved quickly following the shock sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

    Intrigue over how Mourinho's relationship with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy might play out has dominated the initial analysis of the appointment.

    Throughout his decorated career, the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss has frequently clashed with his boards over transfer policy.

    Levy has a reputation for dealing cautiously in the market and, although Spurs broke their transfer record to bring in Tanguy Ndombele during the close season, they went through the two windows in 2018-19 without making a single first-team addition.

    Nevertheless, Mourinho was keen to focus on what he judges to be a fine inheritance at his first news conference in charge of Spurs – noting he was previously linked to a number of his new squad.

    "The best gift are the players who are here. I don’t need new players. I just need to get to know these ones better," he said.

    "I know them well but you never know them well enough until you meet them.

    "I told the players I came here because of them. I tried to buy some for different clubs and some I didn't even try [to buy] because you know how difficult it was."

    Spurs head into Saturday's Premier League game at West Ham, where Mourinho will renew acquaintances with old adversary Manuel Pellegrini, languishing in 14th in the Premier League.

    Reports of growing unrest within the squad dominated Pochettino's final weeks in charge, while uncertainty over the future of a number of star names is underlined by Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen all being out of contract at the end of this season.

    Nevertheless, Mourinho has no doubt he is in the right place to revive a celebrated career after his sapping tenure at Manchester United.

    "Happiness-wise, I am convinced my choice was a great one. [On a scale of one to 10], 10," he said.

    "When a club changes mid-season, it is because things are not good. Sometimes results make these decisions. I wouldn't say it's a [big] job. The potential of the club is huge, the potential of the players is great.

    "One of the reasons I came was the vision Mr Levy put in front of me about this club. I know that I have potentially a great job in my hands."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.