Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola had decided to leave out midfielder Kalvin Phillips from the team squad for Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash with Liverpool after the player arrived ‘overweight’ from Qatar following England’s quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual runners-up France. Guardiola has also mentioned that he will speak to the player personally about the issue.
Having been a part of the World Cup squad for England, Phillips had been given time off for rest and recovery as well as a change of air. However, when he returned to the club, he was apparently not in the condition to train, according to the manager.
His fellow City teammates who featured in Qatar – Phil Foden, John Stones, Jack Grealish – were all part of the game against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup which City won 3-2. Meanwhile, Kyle Walker was an unused substitute on the bench while Phillips himself did not even make it to the matchday squad amidst plenty of surprise and confusion.
“He’s not injured. He arrived overweight. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play,”Guardiola said.
The Spaniard was then asked whether this was a surprise given that the player had been with the England camp and he should’ve been under the watch of the department of nutritionists and fitness experts who should’ve kept him in optimum shape.
“Absolutely [this should be the case]. That’s why he cannot play. When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot,”Guardiola replied.
The Premier League winning manager then made it clear that it wasn’t the case of him being disappointed with the player, but also added that “it’s a private conversation with Kalvin.”
This entire saga comes as a latest setback for the 27-year-old who has failed to make much of an impression since his 42 million pounds move from Leeds United on a six year contract. He made three appearances off the bench in August and September and spent the next couple of months out injured after requiring surgery because of a recurring shoulder issue.