manchestereveningnews: Pep Guardiola named no names but revealed that there are players in his squad who behave like small children when not picked for the team.
The Manchester City boss went out of his way to exempt Bernardo Silva from that criticism, which may have been a jibe at the recently-departed Leroy Sane as well as one or two of the remaining squad.
Bernardo has gone from being the club’s player of the season in 2018-19, when his brilliant form made light of Kevin De Bruyne ’s long-term injury absence, to finding it tough to get into the team at times.
The Portugal international also had to put up with the difficulties of a racism allegation which saw him handed an FA ban and forced to go on an education course.
But Guardiola says the midfielder is one of those players who is always a joy to have around – and took a swipe at those who do change their attitude the moment they are not in the team.
When asked about Bernardo, Guardiola said: “He’s not played as much as last season.
“We have respect for the Liverpool players that won the awards but he had incredible outstanding performances.
“This season, maybe it was my fault, or Phil (Foden) was more involved, Riyad (Mahrez) maintained his level and the others players were good too.
“They know the competition they have with each other but my admiration, my respect and my opinion of him has not changed one bit. “He’s a special player for me, one of the most special I have had in my career as a manager for the relationship I have with him.
“He’s a guy who doesn’t change his mood whether he plays or not. There are players who are just happy when they play, they smile at me and the backroom staff when they play.
“When they don’t play, they make you feel they are not happy and they behave like a little, little child.
“Bernardo is completely the opposite, he’s mature, he knows exactly what has happened and he’s always the same person.
“That is why he is an incredible person for me to work with him, always I will be grateful for the time we’ve had together.
“All I want is to help him to come back to his best level because if there is one player on this team that gives help and support it is Bernardo Silva. He is the first on the list.”
Source: Published by manchestereveningnews