Rejecting criticism for his actions on the pitch, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola stated he has no intention of speaking with players after the final whistle.
As the two departed the pitch at Old Trafford on Sunday, Guardiola was spotted having a lengthy conversation with star scorer Erling Haaland. They were talking about Haaland’s heading technique against United goalie Andre Onana. The Norwegian changed his pace and scored with a similar attempt at the start of the second half after his first half effort was saved.
That week, Haaland and Guardiola had already made headlines for their furious exchange at Burnley on the first weekend of the Premier League season. They had also exited the pitch in a similar fashion following their match against Young Boys. Former United analyst Roy Keane stated on Sunday that Guardiola was just having the talk for show and that it didn’t have to happen on the pitch.
After the victory at Old Trafford, Keane said to Sky Sports, “It’s all for show.” That’s all staged. That conversation can take place in the changing room. What makes a difference?
“That was a beautiful header, but you don’t have to spend five minutes discussing it on the pitch. Simply exit the tunnel and celebrate your triumph.”
Guardiola had nothing against Keane and accepts the viewpoint. The Catalan admits that occasionally his remarks spill onto the field but maintains that he is not attempting to put on a show following a game.
“I hold Roy Keane in high regard,” he stated. “After the game, I sometimes go inside, and other times I stay there. I talk to players about the game when I locate them. I am aware that cameras are present everywhere. I wanted to be with the fans, especially away from the house, so I was outside at the moment, but I could tell him when we were inside. Manchester United is a big game for the supporters.
We discussed the second goal and the Onana action miss in the final minute. He may be more powerful, better. To put the ball in the net with more force, the header [can be] stronger.
“Erling experienced it in Burnley. I’m able to escape it. Roy could be correct, but it does happen. At my age, I’m not required to help the public. I occasionally walk inside and occasionally say hello to the refs. It’s my current state of feeling. After the game, I don’t think the players should perform for the crowd. I’m already old enough.
“My entire career, I have done it. I occasionally did it with [Joshua] Kimmich at Bayern. Depending on the situation, but it’s not done to make us feel unique.
“I don’t overreact or act in a way that benefits others. We have to admit, we were happy. I was pleased with how we played. The outcome boosts our confidence in our style of play. We’re doing great.
“After the game, we evaluate our performance and determine why we did well. I was ecstatic when I discovered Erling, commented, and he gave me criticism before adding some more comments. We strolled along. Of course, I could have completed inside.
“I’ve looked at that picture in the locker room a lot, but I believe it’s current because the players are seeing it. Occasionally, the image stays here [head] when you have that. They might take three days off after that and forget about it. I go inside, so sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.”