Pep on Grealish exchange: ‘I do it for cameras’

Pep Guardiola hit back at criticism of his treatment of Jack Grealish following the draw with Arsenal by sarcastically saying: “I do it for the cameras.”

An animated Guardiola was spotted giving Grealish a series of instructions on the pitch immediately following the final whistle after Sunday’s 0-0 draw.

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The Manchester City manager has faced criticism for his habit of confronting players on the pitch after games rather than in the dressing room. Asked about his interaction with Grealish, Guardiola shrugged it off.

“I do it for the cameras, my ego,” Guardiola, 53, told a news conference on Tuesday. “I’m the famous person of the team and I need the cameras to go to sleep with incredible satisfaction.

“I always try to criticise the players there [on the pitch] and let them know how bad they are. Especially when Erling [Haaland] scores three goals, the cameras have to be on me.”

City face Grealish’s former club Aston Villa at the Etihad on Wednesday as they look to keep pace with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Kyle Walker, Éderson and Nathan Aké have all been ruled out, but John Stones, who was a surprise inclusion on the bench against Arsenal, could return.

“John may be [fit], but the other two have no chance,” Guardiola said. “[Stones] has to feel fully fit, but the injury was less than we expected in the moment but we will see. Maybe for the next games, he will be ready.”

Villa have already beaten City once this season, winning 1-0 at Villa Park in December — a game Guardiola says was his team’s worst performance of the season.

“We deserved to lose the game,” he said. “Aston Villa play to qualify for the Champions League, and every team plays for something. The last games are always difficult to manage for all of us.”


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