It’s a measure of the best way Pep Guardiola’s thoughts works that the Manchester Metropolis boss can begin a post-match information convention speaking about his star striker scoring 5 objectives, take purpose on the social media critics of his picks and finish by lamenting a visit to Outdated Trafford greater than six years in the past by his “idol” Julia Roberts.
However that was Guardiola at Etihad Stadium an hour after his facet had crushed RB Leipzig 7-0. Even his usually chatty media officer was left nearly speechless on the surprising route Guardiola’s thought course of had taken him.
We’d have guessed he was in a playful temper from his preliminary response to being requested to speak via Haaland’s efficiency.
“5 objectives…” he mentioned.
Finally, he added a bit extra: “The issue for this man is that if he does not rating two or three objectives he shall be criticised.”
Guardiola seemed to be articulating one thing that had lengthy been bothering him.
He was then requested if Haaland, who has now scored 39 objectives this season, was the participant who might lastly flip Metropolis into Champions League winners.
“All the time we now have scored objectives within the Champions League,” he countered. “We scored 4 towards Madrid, six towards Monaco, 4 towards Tottenham.
“The issue is just not scoring objectives, it’s conceding silly objectives.”
It was after that Guardiola educated his sights on those that have been carping concerning the absence of Phil Foden at occasions, or Kevin de Bruyne, or Riyad Mahrez, or anybody who was not in his beginning XI on any given day, and why he performs 4 central defenders, as he did on Tuesday night with John Stones and Nathan Ake occupying the full-back berths.
“With the choice, if we win I’m proper, if we lose I’m mistaken,” he mentioned.
“However I’ve a whole lot of info even you [the media] haven’t got.
“Bernardo on the left facet is wonderful. Bernardo has the power to press three gamers in two actions. No participant on this planet can try this. He’s so clever. Leipzig are superb on the left facet. That is why he performed.
“I’ve extra data than the Twitter guys. I’m sorry. At present I’m proper. I’m proper.”
Now Guardiola was on a roll. Anybody asking a query might overlook about getting a critical reply.
A journalist who had spoken to Haaland and been informed the Norwegian would have appreciated to remain on the pitch to try to change into the primary participant to attain six objectives in a Champions League sport obtained this: “If he achieves this milestone at 22, his life could be boring. Now he has a goal to do it sooner or later.”
Which brings us to Roberts. The Fairly Lady star is a part of the identical company as former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho. Her youngsters are recognized to be large soccer followers.
In November 2016, she went to Outdated Trafford together with her household to look at United play West Ham and was pictured on the pitch afterwards.
Guardiola had been at Metropolis 5 months on the time. He has waited six and a half years to inform his story.
“I’ve three idols in my life,” he mentioned. “Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Julia Roberts.
“Julia Roberts years in the past got here to Manchester, not within the interval of Alex Ferguson once they have been profitable title after title, within the final 4 or 5 years once we have been higher than them. However she did not come to see us. She went to go to Man United.
“Even when I win the Champions League, it won’t [ease] the frustration of Julia Roberts going to United. My idol.”
I do not assume he was being critical.