MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 25, 2023: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola speaks with Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pep Guardiola says it’s “not fair” in reply to Jurgen Klopp’s “biggest joke” title remark

Pep Guardiola is not particularly fond of his Man City side being deemed ‘failures’ if they don’t win the league again, while others find themselves celebrated for ‘one’ success.

It has been an unprecedented period for City, dropping points for four successive games to sit behind both Liverpool and Arsenal in the table.

Jurgen Klopp knows writing Guardiola’s side out of the title race would “be the biggest joke in the history of football,” and that was put to Pep before his side’s trip to Luton.

The City manager responded to Klopp’s comments, said after the win at Sheffield United, by saying it is “not fair” that his team are held to consistently high standards while one title win for others is deemed “a big success” – we know a dig when we hear it.

“Jurgen knows what happened to us in this short period can happen, he knows that. Man City can have a bad period,” Guardiola said.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 25, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Diaz (R) is challenged by Manchester City's Phil Foden during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I never believed in the big compliments or the bad, bad situations. The most difficult thing to do is win, win, win.

“We’ve done it. For many years, we’re the main candidates to win everything.

“The only team who is going to fail by not winning the Premier League is us.

“For the rest it’s a big success – any team. A big success. Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea don’t win everything – but that’s normal.

“City should win. That isn’t fair. It’s difficult to handle that in every week, every three days, during years and years.

“[What we have done] is exceptional, but their positions is normal. In sport, you can have seasons. Just take a look at our rivals, just win once, we are always there – and we have to continue that.”

It is what comes with the territory, especially when a club has been charged with more than 100 financial breaches to ensure they win everything in sight.

The Premier League title race is shaping up to be an intriguing battle. The Reds currently sit at the top of the table but Arsenal and Aston Villa are not far behind.

But Liverpool were always going to be “back” this season, says Guardiola, due to the character ingrained into the team – demonstrated by one comeback win after another.

Guardiola continued: “I’ve got a lot of trust in myself. I will help the team – I don’t know how but I’ll help the team to come back. Will it be enough? I don’t know, the contenders are so strong.

“The consistency of Arsenal over the past two years has been amazing and Liverpool are back – I knew it from day one for many reasons, the character is still there.”