Pep Guardiola has refused to level the blame for Manchester City’s 3-2 defeat against Norwich on his players, insisting they’re the ones that stopped him from being known as “Fraudiola”.
The Catalan struggled to impose his playing style during his first season at the Etihad, finishing fourth and failing to deliver a trophy.
Why was Guardiola called a “fraud”? Five things to know…
- Guardiola was appointed Man City boss in 2016 after winning 12 major honours at Barca and Bayern.
- But he failed to win anything during his first season with City.
- Because of this, people labelled him with the “Fraudiola” moniker.
- Gary Neville questioned whether City could win the Premier League under Guardiola in 2017.
- But since then, he’s delivered two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup.
His poor first season at City earned him the “Fraudiola” moniker among some rival fans who questioned his ability to translate the success he found in Spain and Germany to the Premier League.
Since then, though, City have won back-to-back Premier League titles with the highest (100) and second-highest (98) points totals in competition history, sealing two League Cup titles and an FA Cup along the way.
Saturday’s defeat was littered with the kind of errors which continually cost City during Guardiola’s first season in charge but the ex-Barcelona midfielder refused to start handing out the blame.
“They gave me all the prestige I have in England, when the first season when it was Fraud Guardiola, Fraudiola,” he said after the match.
“This kind of game here in England – it’s not possible to play because you need to have tackles and you have to play like that – these players gave me the prestige that I have.
“And now all around the world people say how good a manager I am – it’s for them, not for me.”
The defeat to the Canaries was City’s first in the Premier League since falling away to Newcastle United in January and leaves them five points behind leaders Liverpool.
But Guardiola sees this as a completely different kind of defeat to the one at St James’ Park, blaming this one on sloppy mistakes rather than a lack of desire or professionalism.
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“With Newcastle, it was completely different, we scored one goal and we forgot to play, [against Norwich] that didn’t happen,” he added.
“We were not precise up front or we made individual mistakes but I am responsible for that, but that is part of the game.
“Sometimes it happens and the players know it’s not necessary to tell them or watch some clips.
“Right now in the locker room, they know they have to improve on that or it will not be possible to compete [for the title].”
City’s recovery starts on Wednesday when they face Shakhtar Donetsk away in the Champions League.