Coach Pep Guardiola was dissatisfied with the English Premier League’s organizers forcing City to play two matches in less than 48 hours.
“I wrote a letter to the Premier League Organizing Committee to say thank you. We will go into the fridge after meeting Wolves to get ready for the Sheffield United match,” Guardiola said sarcastically.
According to the newly announced schedule, Man City will play on Wolves on December 27. About 46 hours later, they returned to their home turf to Sheffield United. Having too little rest time, moving between two matches can be physically disadvantageous for the defending Premier League champion.
In contrast, Liverpool has a easier schedule. Between the match against Leicester on December 26 and the match against Wolves on December 29, they had 68.5 hours to prepare. Time off until the next match, with Sheffield even longer, up to 99.5 hours.
Man City star Kevin De Bruyne also expressed concern about the unfavorable schedule: “Let’s wait and see how we feel after less than 48 hours of preparation. Normally playing next is impossible, but The schedule has been set and we have to find a way out. Hopefully every player feels fine after two games like that, but we will probably have to replace some players.”
Man City are third in the Premier League, with 38 points after 18 games. They are 11 points behind Liverpool, and play more than one game.
Years ago, year-end games often led to a turning point in the championship race. The team that stands firmly in this stage often heads straight to the championship, or initiates a comeback. On the contrary, the team stumbles easily leading to narrow the gap, or missed the opportunity to pursue.
Pep Guardiola respected the decision to leave Man City to Arsenal of assistant Mikel Arteta.
Mikel Arteta said goodbye to Man City members on Thursday, after 18 months working as an assistant at the club. A day later, Arsenal announced the appointment of a 37-year-old strategist. The contract is valid for three years. Arteta will receive $ 6.5 million salary each year at the Emirates Stadium.
Man City coach does not look to replace Arteta until the end of this season. Assistant Rodolfo Borrell will take on additional duties that Arteta left. “We will not recruit anyone,” Guardiola added. “We will continue our work with existing people.”