Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Guardiola calls for Potter to be given more time after Manchester City thrash Chelsea

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Jan 2023

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Pep Guardiola has called for Graham Potter to be given more time as Chelsea manager, after Manchester City handed his opposite number a heavy FA Cup defeat.

The Blues suffered a second loss in the space of four days against the Premier League champions, losing 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Potter hit out at his critics earlier this month, stressing he needs time and patience from both fans and owner Todd Boehly in order to implement his vision.

Guardiola is in agreement, believing the circumstances he experienced in leading Barcelona to the treble in his first season in charge in 2008-09 to be unique.

“I would say to Todd Boehly, it was a pleasure to meet him, but give him time,” he said. “I know results are important in big clubs but I would say give him time.

“I think the second half today is what he is and what he did in Brighton was outstanding. All the managers need time and he was right. We need time in the first season.

“I had results in Barcelona in the first season but we had Lionel Messi so one season was enough. But yes, everyone is an idiot [in football management].

“To play against Man City at the level we are at in the Carabao Cup or FA Cup is not easy. Not for Graham, Chelsea or any team.”

A Riyad Mahrez double, alongside goals for Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden, helped ease City’s passage into the fourth round, where Arsenal or Oxford United await.

Algeria international Mahrez in particular was in fine form, and was happy to let his World Cup-winning team-mate Alvarez take an earlier penalty before he converted his own spot-kick later.

“I was going to take the first one but Julian asked me, so I said of course he could take it,” he told BBC Sport. “He’s a striker, when he scores it’s good for him. I wanted to take the second.

“Every season we try to be involved in every competition, we’re still in all of them. We have to keep going, we deserve it with the way we play.”

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