Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola called for more of his team to meet the standards of Nathan Ake and Rico Lewis if they are to chase down Arsenal in the Premier League.
Guardiola held nothing back during an explosive post-match interview following City’s 4-2 win over Tottenham on Thursday night.
His side secured all three points to close the gap on Premier League-leaders Arsenal, but the revered Catalan coach was far from happy with his side’s performance.
The Catalan coach saved criticism for his players, claiming he ‘didn’t recognise’ his stars, citing a lack of ‘passion and desire’, and admitting they got lucky.
However, despite his fury post-match, teenager Lewis and defender Ake were singled out by Guardiola as currently essential to the team.
“It’s not about the way we play. Are you going to judge the quality of the players?” he said. “I love them. They are all fantastic players but there are the details.
“It comes from the success we had in the past. People say it’s not success because you don’t win the Champions League. Bull****. We won a lot. In this country two back-to-backs and the way we played, the consistency against this Liverpool? What a success.
“But we have to look ourselves, it is not enough. I said to Erling – runners, you cannot drop because runners. One run before half time. One. The quality is there. That’s why we bought it. I want to help you but the quality is go there. One. I want more.
“I want more for everyone. It’s not about performing well or not. It’s no complaining. Tell me [about] Nathan, against [Dejan] Kulusevski – what a player. [Against Mo] Salah in the Carabao Cup. 10 duels and he won nine. It’s not in the highlights but without Nathan right now we cannot play good.
Rico Lewis. 18 years old. Why play him over him or him? Look at the Carabao Cup game against Chelsea; Carabao Cup against Liverpool; in Leeds, the team most aggressive in the Premier League, they don’t give you two seconds in small spaces; Chelsea second half, he arrived and after one minute he changed the game.
“Why? Because he wants to live in the world, have a better contract and win Premier Leagues he has never won. That is what everyone needs to come back with because we need everyone. Today we played good but we don’t have it. In football it is not just about playing good or bad, it is about something that is inside all of us.
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