- After arriving back from the World Cup 2022, Pep Guardiola made some remarks about Kalvin Phillips.
- Guardiola said that Kalvin was not in the shape for practice and was overweight.
- While Kevin agreed with what Pep had to say, his confidence took a small hit.
Kalvin Phillips, the talented midfielder for West Ham United and the England national team. Recently found himself at the center of attention, due to comments made by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola about his weight post-World Cup 2022.
Before Phillips’s move to West Ham United, the interview about Pep Guardiola calling Phillips overweight came out of the graves. Being deemed non-pivotal for Manchester City, Phillips was considered to make a move out of the champions’ squad.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 23, 2024
Being a promising Leeds United player, many believed his move to Manchester City would only improve him. But with sheer competition within the squad, and the constant pressure of winning. Kalvin Phillips couldn’t maintain his position among the starting XI. Being 28 years old, he needed to play constantly to end his career on a high. So to attain such consistency Phillips made a move to West Ham United in January 2024.
Kalvin Phillips reacts to Pep Guardiola’s comments
Holding the comments to his heart, after a year of silence on the matter. Kalvin Phillips came out and spoke about the interview recently. Before looking at Kalvin Phillips’s comments let’s look at what Pep Guardiola said about Phillips.
Arriving back from the World Cup 2022 with England talking about Phillips, Guardiola said, “He arrived overweight. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.” Hearing such comments from your manager could be damaging for any player.
Pep Guardiola on Kalvin Phillips: “He’s not injured – he arrived [back at #ManCity] overweight. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.” [via @MailSport]
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) December 23, 2022
Kalvin Phillips reacted to the situation by saying, “When Pep came out and said I was overweight, he was right to do so.” Standing by his manager’s comment Phillips accepted the situation. Accepting the situation he further added, “I did not disagree but obviously it took a big knock on my confidence”.
Explaining what the actual situation was Phillips added, “People can say overweight like it’s 10kg. I was probably 1.5kg over my weight target.” Claiming that he wasn’t that much overweight Phillips didn’t understand the situation adding how his family felt he said, “My family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum”.
🚨 Kalvin Phillips: “When Pep came out and said I was overweight, he was right to do so… but there are different ways to go about it”.
“I did not disagree but obviously it took a big knock on my confidence”.
“My family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum”.… pic.twitter.com/Ln4Xb6tubF
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 11, 2024
The midfielder emphasized that he is comfortable with his body and fitness levels. Asserting that he knows how to maintain his physical condition professionally. Phillips’ measured response reflected not only his resilience but also his understanding of the scrutiny. Being a high-profile soccer player these are his duties to propel and become successful.
Prior incidents of Pep Guardiola calling players out on their weight
Pep Guardiola, the highly regarded manager of Manchester City, has occasionally made headlines for his candid remarks about players’ physical conditions. While many would remember comments about Kalvin Phillips the latest. He had called out players on their weight before.
Back in 2016, when Pep Guardiola arrived as a manager for Manchester City. Pep Guardiola set his standards from day 1. He called out players regarding their weight and how he wanted his players to be in terms of physical condition.
Players arriving from the European Championship in 2016, Guardiola said, “Samir arrived a little bit overweight … but he’s much, much better now.” Speaking after a pre-season game against Dortmund Pep further added, “Still a little bit of weight. And last season he was overweight and he was injured all the season. We want to avoid that.”Following these comments, Pep ordered Samir Nasri to train alone who was later sold to Sevilla with no improvement.
Another fan-favorite player was affected by these comments, which called out players for their weight and imposed a strict regime. Pep Guardiola excluded Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure from the Manchester City squad for the Champions League group stage. Reacting to the situation Toure stepped up his game in the gym. Losing eight kilograms to rejoin the Spaniard’s squad.
Looking at the dedication of Yaya Toure, Pep Guardiola went on to reconsider his opinion. Knowing how vital Toure was for the City team. Pep Guardiola recalled the Ivorian and included him back in the lineup for the rest of the season.