Kalvin Phillips admits 'Guardiola's comments about his weight was hard to take (1 Viewer)


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Kalvin Phillips has admitted that Pep Guardiola's remarks about him being "overweight" were "difficult to accept." The 27-year-old joined the treble-winning Citizens last summer from his childhood club Leeds United in a transfer valued at an initial £42 million.

However, Phillips faced a challenging debut season at the Etihad Stadium, mainly due to injuries and playing second fiddle to fellow midfielder Rodri. As a result, he only started in four out of his 21 appearances across various competitions. Phillips struggled to settle in quickly at Man City due to his injury, and he only recovered in time to join Gareth Southgate's England squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

After England's exit in the quarter-finals, Guardiola commented before an EFL Cup match against Liverpool in December, stating that Phillips had returned to the club "overweight" and "not fit to play." Phillips, who has spoken ahead of the release of "Kalvin Phillips: The Road to City" on Prime Video on July 19, downplayed suggestions that he was overweight and acknowledged the challenging nature of Guardiola's comments.

"For me, I wasn't overweight, but obviously the manager has seen it in a very different way," Phillips told BBC Sport. "I just took it and did my best to get as fit as possible."

Speaking on BBB Radio 5 Live's Breakfast show, Phillips added: "It was a little hard to take just because of how much it was oversized and how many people started talking about it.

"I was on the bench for the Leeds game straight after that and I was fit every match since then. It was just one of those things, it was a misunderstanding from me and some staff members. You will see a lot more in the documentary."

In a recent interview with Sky Sports News, Phillips openly shared that he gained valuable insights from the challenges he faced towards the end of last year.

"A lot of people think when somebody says you're overweight that it means you're five or six kilograms overweight, but it was just the fact that I'd gone away to New York and flown back and then was reporting to training at the end of the day.

"I'd had a full day of eating and when I stood on the scales I was two or three kilograms heavier, so Pep wasn't too happy which is perfectly understandable because you're more likely to get injured, and especially with my track record that season of being injured he wasn't too happy about it, which I totally agree with. So it's lesson learned and it won't happen again."

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