Football News

Foden rejects Guardiola ‘shyness’ advice in his search for Man City game time

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 16:40, 8 September 2019 | Updated: 17:57, 29 September 2019

Phil Foden has insisted he will not change his personality after Pep Guardiola suggested he needs to be “more assertive” to boost his chances of regular game time at Manchester City.

Foden has impressed again for England Under-21s during the international break thus far, but Guardiola previously hinted that the midfielder needs to put his ‘shyness’ to one side as he competes for minutes with a host of international stars at the Etihad Stadium.

Is Foden ready? Five things to know…

  • Foden made just 13 Premier League appearances last season.
  • However, he did appear in every single competition for the Citizens.
  • He scored a crucial winner at home to Spurs last season en route to the title.
  • The midfielder came on as a late substitute against West Ham on the opening day of the current campaign.
  • But he has failed to made an appearance in the weeks that have followed.

Speaking to reporters, Foden was defiant in his response to Guardiola’s perception of his personality on the training ground.

He said: “He has his own opinions and I stick by how I am. I just know that I’m ready to play. I feel like I am. I try to show him every day in training.

“There is a bit of team-mates telling me to be patient but obviously I’m hungry and want to play now. I’m going to fight for it every day. I’m ready to play whenever.”

Foden was excellent on Friday as England edged Turkey 2-3 in their opening Euro 2021 qualifying game, and the midfielder is hopeful his performance will have not escaped his manager’s attention as the Young Lions seek to qualify for their next major international tournament.

He said: “It will be nice if Pep watched the Turkey game but maybe he’s taken a little holiday to play golf or something! I wouldn’t blame him.

“It’s massively important to start with a win. It gives your team a boost; when you don’t get off to a good start sometimes it can affect you.

“It’s going to take a couple of games. We can already see the potential that the group has and we are only going in the right direction.”

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Can Foden break into Man City’s midfield?

City’s midfield is one of, if not, the best in the world at the moment.

With Rodri and Fernandinho as holding options, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Foden are all vying to play centrally in the creative roles.

There is no doubting Foden’s talent and it is inevitable that he will soon begin to become a more regular fixture for Guardiola, particularly as David Silva’s finally begin to wane.

However, as a player with outstanding ability for his age, Foden would have every right to be frustrated about not playing as much as he would like.