The Premier League returned on Friday night when Man City beat Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor and the pundits are already dissecting each talking point.
Pep Guardiola fumed at Erling Haaland at the end of the first half as City’s players were making their way off the pitch in the Premier League curtain-raiser.
However, former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville claims Sir Alex Ferguson would never have confronted any of his players in such a public manner.
The incident occurred after Haaland scored twice in the first 45 minutes to give City a two-goal lead at the break. Guardiola was quick to forget that when the whistle blew for half-time.
Pep Guardiola having words with Erling Haaland at the end of the first half 👀 pic.twitter.com/ML8nUeyh8I
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 11, 2023
Footage courtesy of Sky Sports
With the scenes caught by a Sky Sports camera, the Manchester Evening News ran quotes as Guardiola raged at Haaland.
Guardiola: “You weren’t moving with three minutes left. With one minute left we had to make long balls, completely opposite, it’s the right tempo right now.”
Neville felt the incident would divide opinion – and we shouldn’t expect any less from the opening weekend of the new season. He added that he doesn’t believe Ferguson would have hung his players out for dry in the same manner.
Neville said on Sky Sports: “There’ll be some people who’ll love the intensity of that and say that that’s why he’s the best manager on the planet. Then there’ll be others who will say that you shouldn’t do that in a public forum, grabbing his arm in front of the cameras.
“I played for one of the most intense managers in the history of the game — but he’d never have done that on the pitch in such a way.”
As we know from the countless stories told by former players, Ferguson would have waited until the players were inside the dressing room before taking out the hairdryer.
And, I think the same goes for a lot of old school managers. A lot of the modern coaches — Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp — do a lot for the cameras.
Guardiola buys a lot, but you can’t buy class.
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