Man City have a ‘behavior’ problem

Pep Guardiola has revealed the changes he has made to City of Manchester team for 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday was related to “behavior” issues in his team.

Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, both scored in 7-0 win end Leeds United on Tuesday, being left on the bench for the trip to St James’ Park five days later.

Asked later about his picks, Guardiola said the players he chose “deserve” to play.

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“It’s not rotation, no,” the City manager told the BBC. “I decided to pick this team because they deserved to play today, these guys and not others.

“Over Christmas, I pay close attention to behavior on and off the pitch. And when it’s not right off the field, they don’t play.

“So we always have to focus because of the distraction at Christmas time and everything that happens. You still have to focus.”

Both Grealish and Foden were not used as substitutes as City went on to win eight straight to take three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus started in their place, with Sterling scoring the fourth goal to usher in an all-out win.

City are one of the few clubs that have not had any games postponed this season because of the COVID-19 issue.

Players have been reminded to keep group social activity to a minimum over Christmas in an effort to deal with a spike in coronavirus in the UK fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Guardiola was forced to cancel his usual press conference on Friday after returning an “inconclusive” side flow test.

He was cleared later in the day after taking the PCR test and could come in to take his place against Newcastle. Man City have a ‘behavior’ problem

John Verrall

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