“Not Bad” – Pep Guardiola Forced to Apologise 5 Times to Kalvin Phillips After ‘Overweight’ Rant Backfires

Published Feb 19, 2024 | 10:55 PM EST

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During his Manchester City stay, English midfielder Kalvin Phillips had a rough equation with coach Pep Guardiola. Guardiola has so rarely started the player in his lineup that Phillips only appeared in 31 matches for Manchester City, despite staying for more than a year and a half. Once, in 2022, the City coach said that the Englishman was kept out of the roster because he was ‘overweight’ after returning from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Phillips responded to the comment, saying it was “a big knock to my confidence.” Now, the veteran boss has admitted he regrets making such a remark in a public apology to the midfielder.

“Yeah, I’m sorry… Yeah, I’m sorry! Once in eight years is not bad, but I’m so sorry. I apologized to him [Phillips], I do apologize, I’m so sorry,” said Pep Guardiola in a press conference before the Manchester City-Brentford game. The Spaniard added that he called and cleared the air with Kalvin Phillips, now playing for West Ham United on a loan move. He said, “I spoke to him before. I never, ever don’t speak to the team before I say something here, or the player in that case.” 


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Earlier this month, Kalvin Phillips said in an interview that he and particularly his family felt bad about the coach’s comments. The 27-year-old said that the coach was right to be worried about players’ fitness. But he did not expect such a blunt response from Guardiola. “It was just a misunderstanding and I think he was very frustrated with me coming back 1.5kg over my weight target,” Phillips added.

Now that Guardiola has apologized to the player, it is safe to say this bumpy equation has received closure. Besides, the midfielder is getting ample playing time in West Ham. But have his struggles come to an end? Seems not.

Kalvin Phillips struggles even after leaving Pep Guardiola’s and Co.

Unlike Pep Guardiola, West Ham’s boss David Moyes has been playing Kalvin Phillips in crucial Premier League matches. However, he is yet to make his mark at the London-based club. Rather, his mistakes in the midfield have even led West Ham to concede goals against rivals.

Besides, Phillips is yet to score or assist for David Moyes’ side. The 27-year-old has appeared in all four of West Ham’s games since he joined the club in late January. Notably, Moyes’ club has failed to win any of those four matches.


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In West Ham’s recent outing against Nottingham Forest, Kalvin Phillips picked up a red card after seeing two back-to-back yellows. However, the player thinks that the red card might end his bad luck. Moreover, coach Moyes overlooked Phillips’ red card and asserted that he had played well during the night.

It is at this juncture that Pep Guardiola has issued a heartfelt apology to Phillips. It will perhaps boost his morale, which earlier suffered a ‘knock’ at Guardiola’s hands.


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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M


One take at a time

Krishna Prasad is Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Unlike others, his journey as a sports enthusiast was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed his perspective, as the beautiful game took up a small space in his heart.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz