Pep Guardiola wants to see Kyle Walker and everyone at Manchester City behaving like adults but insisted he should not have to police their off-duty business like a strict father.
The City manager passed no public judgement on Walker’s behaviour in a bar that led to negative headlines this week, other than to say it had been dealt with internally.
The England international was shown on CCTV footage, published by The Sun, with friends at a venue where he apparently pulled down his trousers.
It was alleged by the newspaper that Walker indecently exposed himself, with the incident said to have happened last Sunday. Cheshire Police is looking into the matter.
Guardiola said Walker can count on his support after a week in the spotlight and stressed he was available for selection for Saturday’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace.
“We have to adapt to the reality,” Guardiola said at a press conference. “Everybody knows it, and today they are exposed 24 hours for everything. Private life doesn’t exist any more out of their home.”
@kylewalker2 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/yqiZxoakL0
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 14, 2022
Guardiola was asked whether he had called Walker in to remind him of his responsibilities.
The 32-year-old full-back is among the most senior of City’s players, and this is not his first brush with off-field controversy. He was accused of breaching lockdown during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, with City taking a dim view of his first alleged breach when he was said to have held a party at his home.
Guardiola said of the latest incident: “I spoke with him, but we’re adults. I’m not a father. I’m a friend of him. I know in the past many things happen. He and everyone can count on me with the personal issues.
“I don’t have to tell him that you don’t have to behave in that way. He’s an adult. The club is there all the time. I like to feel they can count on us in the good and bad moments.”
Guardiola stressed: “Everybody knows that the only place I think is safe is inside at home, lock the door. The moment you unlock the door, you are exposed.
“Today it’s completely different to 15, 20 years ago. Now you have to adapt, the players know it.”
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