Ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Newcastle United in the third round of the EFL Cup this evening, Pep Guardiola has blamed himself for failing to get the best out of Kalvin Phillips for the treble winners.
Phillips is expected to start the match at St James’ Park and may be called upon to feature more regularly in the Premier League over the next couple of weeks after Rodri’s straight red card against Nottingham Forest, subsequently leading to a three-match ban for the Spanish international.
Guardiola said that Marcelo Bielsa, who he has discussed before as an inspiration to him, gave Phillips his best years as a footballer during his stint at Leeds, then suggesting he is at fault for Phillips’ stunted development in the last 12-15 months:
“I’d love to have done with Kalvin what Marcelo has done to him. We have our own specific way to play and he sometimes strugglers in a few things, whilst the previous was perfect.”
Phillips has made just 24 appearances for Manchester City since joining from Leeds United in the summer of 2022. He has played in just three games this season, out of a possible nine.
Manchester City go to Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon and they will also be without Rodri for the huge clash between City and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium before the October international break.