No Covid suspension for Premier League – reports
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Jack Grealish and Phil Foden have been warned that turning up to a Manchester City recovery session “worse for wear” the day after a match is “not how you behave” as a professional footballer. The Manchester City duo hit the town after both scoring in the Premier League leader’s 7-0 demolition of Leeds last Tuesday night.
The England duo even poses for a picture with one fan in a nightclub as they celebrated their side’s big midweek win.
Manager Pep Guardiola had flown to Barcelona for Sergio Aguero’s press conference in which the City legend announced his retirement after being diagnosed with a heart condition.
Yet the City squad were still scheduled to report to the Etihad Campus for a recovery session on Wednesday morning.
While Grealish and Foden did just that, it was clear their condition was not of the required standard and the rest of the squad.
As a result, both were left on the bench for the 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday by Guardiola.
And in the view of talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan, this needs to be a line in the sand for both Grealish and Foden, who are threatening to tarnish their reputation as two of the nation’s shining lights.
He said to Jim White: “You can’t say you lock them up like The Man in the Iron Mask but turning up the next morning, not fit or in the right condition goes to the heart of a professional sports star.
“I know we can look back at the wonderful players over the years that probably did it regularly like Georgey Best or Paul Gascoigne and that didn’t work our particularly well and they’re extreme cases.
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“There is an element of recidivism about these two boys because it was a year ago, I don’t want to keep dragging up people’s past and hitting them in the present but if you keep on doing things in a certain way, Jack Grealish has got a £100million transfer to Man City to play in a proper, achieving football club. It’s not how you behave.
“It wasn’t long ago that he was standing along the side of the road in a slipper, you would have thought that is something you didn’t need to replicate.
“Go out, have a good time and do that if there’s latitude given to you but you can’t rock in the next morning in a condition where your own manager says ‘that’s not reflective of the outlook I expect to see or for you to perform in’.
“Foden is a kid. They’ve been allowed to relax but they’ve come in, in a condition that their manager, not the media and not somebody on the sidelines that doesn’t have any relevance, their manager has told the media that it’s because they’re worse for wear.”
Guardiola provided clarity on the seemingly strange decision to drop the pair after the two bright performances against Leeds, stating that he expects more from his players.
“It was not rotation, no. I decided on this team because they deserved to play — these guys and not the other ones,” he said.
“At Christmas I pay a lot of attention to behaviour on and off the pitch. And when off the pitch is not proper, they are not going to play.
“We must be focused all the time because of distractions at Christmas and everything that happens. You have to still be focused.”
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