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When behaviour off the pitch is not proper, they are not going to play, reveals Pep Guardiola

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Guardiola comments on the importance of behaviour off the pitch.

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When behaviour off the pitch is not proper, they are not going to play, reveals Pep Guardiola

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SportsCafe Desk

12/21/2021

Pep Guardiola has revealed that the changes he made to his team for the 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday were linked to off-the-pitch issues within his squad. Jack Grealish and Phil Foden were pictured in a nightclub after their game against Leeds and then dropped for the clash against the Magpies.

Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, both of whom scored in Manchester City's 7-0 victory over Leeds United on Tuesday, were left on the bench for the trip to St James' Park five days later on Sunday. Grealish and Foden were pictured to be in a nightclub following their match against Leeds and the reigning Premier League champions were unhappy with the condition of the pair when they arrived for a recovery session the next day.

The English duo along with John Stones were the only changes made to the side that humiliated Leeds 7-0 when City faced Newcastle and beat them promptly with a scoreline of 4-0. Foden and Grealish were replaced in the starting lineup by Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus and the pair were unused substitutes during the entirety of the game. Guardiola clarified that the selection of the starting lineup was not due to rotation and hinted that it was due to off the pitch behaviour.

"It was not rotation, no. I decided on this team because they deserved to play today, these guys and not the other ones. At Christmas time 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. So we have to be focussed all the time because of distractions at Christmas time and everything that happens. You have to still be focused," Guardiola told the BBC after the game.

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