Editor’s Column: Pep, what are you on about?

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Pep Guardiola used Manchester City’s superb and likely damning (from a Liverpool title perspective) 5-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday as an opportunity to talk about us again.

The Spaniard, who came across excellently in the wake of his side’s midweek Champions League collapse against Real Madrid, reverted to type with a bizarre, uncalled for and genuinely incorrect analysis of his and our club post-match.

Pep announced that there is media bias towards Liverpool and that all neutrals are rooting for us instead of them, adding a snide remark about our one Premier League trophy – going full @DeBruyneSZN in the process.

“Everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone,” Guardiola told beIN Sports.

“Of course because Liverpool has an incredible history in European competition. Not in the Premier League, because they have won one in 30 years, but it is not a problem at all.

“Liverpool are alongside [Manchester] United as the most important team in terms of titles, legacy, history, dramas for many, many things,” he continued…

“But we have since the last 11 or 12 years been there. I know sometimes we are uncomfortable, but I don’t care if the people want Liverpool to win more than us. It is not an issue.

“We have to do nine points or maybe six, it depends what is going to happen in the next two games in terms of goal difference, but now Wednesday is the real, real, real final for us. Our destiny is in our hands and this is important.”

Where do I begin? Firstly, it would be interesting to see how Pep could explain the nation’s desperation for the season to be Null and Voided during the first Covid outbreak, when Liverpool were 20-odd points clear at the top…

How would he describe the manner in which Everton rolled over and let City beat them as we were fighting for the title in 2013/14, much to their own fans’ delight?

What about the fact that fans of United openly and loudly support their rivals City in any game in which Pep’s side faces Jurgen Klopp’s, simply claiming it’s the lesser of two evils…

How does he feel about the constant chants of ‘Always the Victims’ and ‘Feed the Scousers’ that are part of the repertoire of nearly every visiting away side?

In short, what on earth is he talking about?

If anything, he gets the best deal at City because they are such a traditionally small club without any rivals. Nobody hates City, because not many people care. The fact they still go about their business of winning every season, despite being funded by a sports-washing petro-state who have clearly boosted City’s ‘revenue’ with blatantly in-house sponsorship deals, with only as much as a ‘Meh, what can ya do?’ proves this.

You’re not the underdog, Pep. You never were or will be and this nonsense won’t stick.

Liverpool’s performance v Tottenham… 

In the first-half on Saturday, the Reds were pretty good. We pinned Spurs back, won all the second-balls and created chances with men in the box. We simply lacked the killer touch.

In games like that against sides playing so defensively, the first goal is completely key. If we score it, Antonio Conte’s side have to push forward, allowing us more space and a less crowded area to attack.

In fairness, the manner in which Tottenham threw themselves at our shots was heroic, although the insistence on cross after cross from our fullbacks was frustrating as the game neared its end.

The result, and City’s thrashing of Newcastle, means we need snookers. City must lose and Liverpool must hand out a thrashing of our own in order for us to go level on points and with a better goal difference, as we’re now four behind on that measuring stick, too.

You never know, but it’s very unlikely now, which is sad. But we shouldn’t have written this Liverpool side off when they were 14 points behind City and they should definitely not be written now either.

Aurélien Tchouaméni latest…

The last time we signed a midfielder from AS Monaco, Fabinho arrived and won the Champions League in his first season. Tchouameni is a genuine target and discussions with his representatives have started, according to a French journalist I trust. He says that convincing Tchouameni to sign will not be tricky – but agreeing a price with his club might.

Liverpool like Jude Bellingham, but won’t be paying Jude Bellingham money for either the Englishman or Tchouameni. Borussia Dortmund want £100m-odd, but the Reds will look to acquire the player who will bolster our midfield for half that.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost certain to depart and the likes of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Thiago in their thirties, the centre of midfield does need reinforcing. Along with right-back Calvin Ramsey, this might be the only big deal of the summer considering how packed the squad is full of talent already.

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