Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has, on Friday, provided a scathing response to the recent criticism aimed in his direction by a number of former players.
Spanish tactician Guardiola of course saw his name take centre stage in the football headlines early last week.
Unfortunately for the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich headmaster, though, this came for all the wrong reasons.
After watching his City side collapse at the death to surrender their place in the Champions League to La Liga champions Real Madrid, Guardiola was subjected to widespread condemnation, as the Sky Blues’ pursuit of European glory continues to come up short.
Two of those to have been most vocal with their frustrations, meanwhile, were former Manchester United pair Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov.
The former accused Guardiola of coaching as though he is ‘playing on the Playstation’, whilst hitman Berbatov slammed City’s ‘small mindset’ and lack of ‘winning mentality’.
‘Didn’t see this personality…’
Speaking in a press conference on Friday, it therefore came as little surprise when the subject of the recent criticism aimed in his direction was put to Guardiola himself.
And City’s boss was not at all shy in clapping back at his detractors.
Whilst launching a passionate defence of both he and his players, Guardiola was sure to aim something of a dig at the aforementioned ex-Man United stars, in reminding both of their previous shortcomings up against his rampant Barcelona side of years gone by:
“The answer is so easy – it’s the same character and personality that we lost in Madrid in the last few minutes,” the Spaniard began.
“A specialist former player, like Berbatov and Seedorf, Patrice Evra and these type of people, they weren’t there.
“I played against them and when I played against them I didn’t see this kind of personality when we [Barcelona] destroyed them in the Champions League final vs Manchester United.
“It’s the same character and personality. We don’t have personality because we concede two goals in two minutes when we had two chances to score and we don’t have personality.
“After the last four games, we scored 22 goals, we have incredible personality. I’m sorry but I completely disagree about this.
“Personality is what we have done in the last five years, every three days in all competitions. This is important.
“Maybe Liverpool win all four titles, maybe they win just one, I don’t know but you say they don’t have personality, character, they didn’t do an incredible season?
“Even when they lost the Premier League by one or two points against us, they didn’t have a bad season? They don’t have character or personality?
“Of course they have, of course they are good. Sometimes football happens. You cannot control it, emotion, many things. When we are constantly arriving in latter stages, semi-finals, finals last four or five years.
“This is chapeau, this is incredible, because we arrive until the end, a lot of games, go through, playing good, this is the most important thing.”
This article was edited by Ben Browning.