Football NewsPep Guardiola Apologizes to Kalvin Phillips For Publicly Calling Him Overweight
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Pep Guardiola has apologized to Kalvin Phillips for publicly revealing the midfielder was overweight last season.

Phillips was told to stay away from Manchester City over Christmas on failing to hit target weight after returning from a post-World Cup holiday to New York.

The 28-year-old, who has endured a turbulent start on loan at West Ham United, recently admitted that he felt hurt by the way in which Guardiola announced the issue through the Press.

His mother, Lindsay, stopped attending City matches. Phillips has said that he didn’t disagree with Guardiola’s assessment but that there are ‘different ways to go about’ things. The pair have never since discussed the issue.

‘Yeah, I’m sorry,’ Guardiola said. ‘[Apologising] once in eight years is not bad. But I’m so sorry. I apologise to him. I do apologise. I’m so sorry.’

In an interview last summer, Phillips claimed that he was unaware of Guardiola’s comments until he had already returned to training.

‘Oh no I spoke about that,’ the City boss added. Asked when they spoke, he replied: ‘Before. I spoke to him. I never before said something here [before I] speak with the players in that case.’

Phillips saw red during West Ham’s weekend defeat at Nottingham Forest, while making two errors contributing to goals in his first couple of appearances for the club. His other game was a 6-0 thrashing by Arsenal, when he came off the bench.

The England international has maintained that he ‘laughed’ at the public furor around his weight last year, adding that: ‘It doesn’t faze me. I’m the footballer and living my dream, doing the thing I love.

‘I’d gone to New York for three or four days after Qatar. I’d flown all day.. I’d had breakfast, lunch, dinner and landed. Slept during the flight as well. And straight into football’.

‘I’d had a full day of eating. There is water retention and stuff on a flight. It was a misunderstanding really.’ Guardiola, who bristled at questions around pressure on City after their 1-1 draw against Chelsea, can take his side back to second with victory over Brentford on Tuesday night.

The first fixture at the Gtech Stadium, played only a fortnight ago, ended with a bust-up between Kyle Walker and Neal Maupay.

Walker was left incensed by remarks made by Maupay, who this week denied that he incited the argument by mentioning the City captain’s family after revelations about his private life.

Guardiola suggested that Walker had put the incident behind him but stopped short of insisting that there will not be another flashpoint at the Etihad Stadium.

‘I don’t want it but sometimes there are emotions and it happens,’ he said. ‘You know that. But this [incident] is forgotten, it happened, I think they talked and that’s all.

‘In my period at Barcelona I had the record of the most yellow cards. All the time it was for talk, talk, talk. So it depends, sometimes I controlled [myself], sometimes I behaved crazy. People say [now] ‘Ah, he cannot control.’ As a football player I was the same.’

Meanwhile, Brentford boss Thomas Frank believes Phil Foden can become only the fourth Englishman to win the Ballon D’or as his side come face to face with the City star on Tuesday.

Michael Owen was the last English player to claim football’s greatest individual prize in 2001 with Kevin Keegan, who won it in 1976 and 77 and Stanley Matthews in 1956 the only others to lift the award.

‘Foden is a very good player, for me he is the closest England will get to winning a Balon D’or in the future,’ Frank said.

‘He can influence the game in so many ways, the last game against us he got on the end of three situations and scored three goals. He is a very good dribbler and works very hard for the team.

‘I don’t know him but looking from the outside has a good mentality, he is very good and is playing regularly for one of the best teams in the world.

‘When I watch him play I like him a lot as a player.’