Pundit Chris Sutton attacked Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips after the West Ham United player, who is now on loan, disclosed that Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola had accused him of being “overweight” when he returned to City training after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
After failing to establish himself as a regular starter at the Etihad Stadium, the City outcast signed a loan with the Irons during the winter transfer window of 2024 and stayed with them until the end of the 2023–2024 season.
Before EURO 2024, where he aspires to be a key member of Gareth Southgate’s team, Phillips will view the move to the London Stadium as a chance to get back in shape and form. The former Leeds United player, though, hasn’t had the best of starts for David Moyes’ team and is hoping to quickly turn things around in the city.
Phillips’ “unforgivable” return to Man City training draws criticism from Sutton.
The midfielder was criticized by the analyst for acting in a “unprofessional” manner.
Phillips was trying to make a name for himself in Guardiola’s midfield at Manchester City after the 2022 World Cup, having failed to uproot any trees with his £45 million move from Leeds to the Etihad Stadium earlier in the year. During England’s campaign in Qatar, the midfield player appeared in just 40 minutes of action. The Three Lions advanced to the quarterfinals but ultimately lost 2-1 to France, who finished as runners-up.
In an interview with The Sun on February 10, Phillips said that Guardiola had destroyed his self-esteem by calling him out for being overweight when he got back from Qatar. The 28-year-old said that although the Catalan head coach had good reason to be concerned about his weight and level of fitness, he thought there were more appropriate methods to handle the situation. But when speaking on the most recent episode of the It’s All Kicking Off podcast, Sutton chastised Phillips for his lack of professionalism (via MailOnline):
“I think it’s unprofessional for him to be overweight; it’s as simple as that. And I do get what he says about the public nature of it, but that’s just Pep Guardiola being totally frustrated.
“He spent a fair few quid on Kalvin Phillips, and that’s him coming out and just showing his disappointment about a player who’s been unprofessional. So, whether he should have done that publicly or not, you know, that’s up for debate.”
Phillips’ prospects with the approaching EURO 2024
The midfield player might permanently go from Man City in the summer.
With Phillips being on loan at West Ham through the conclusion of the 2023–2024 season, his long-term future is up in the air. The Irons have lost their last three games, including a 6-0 home loss to Arsenal on February 11th, so the midfielder hasn’t had the best start at the London Stadium.
On February 5, GIVEMESPORT was informed by journalist Paul Brown that Phillips will struggle in his “early days” at West Ham. The 31-cap England international is unlikely to stay at Manchester City past the summer given recent remarks made against Guardiola; instead, he may hunt for a new team before or after EURO 2024 ends.