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Pep Guardiola “confirm” Aymeric Laporte injury scare ahead of World Cup announcements

Laporte was substituted in Manchester City’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea, days before the World Cup begins in Qatar.

Aymeric Laporte was substituted as a precaution in Manchester City’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Laporte looked uncomfortable at times in City’s 2-0 win, at one point going down after clearing a ball, and then asking players not to pass to him as he took a breather to recover. Later in the game, he was substituted for Nathan Ake, grimacing as he walked off unaided, before taking his place on the substitutes’ bench.

 

If Laporte did pick up an injury, it would be a setback ahead of the deadline for nations to name their final 26-man World Cup squads for Qatar 2022. Laporte would be expected to be named in the Spain squad for the tournament.

Confirming Laporte was uncomfortable with a possible injury, Guardiola said: “He felt [something]. I think he is okay but in the last minutes some discomfort and we made a substitution.”

However, Guardiola was more positive about the returning Kalvin Phillips, who will hope to be named in the England squad when Gareth Southgate makes his announcement on Thursday.

 

“Kalvin, he made a good 40 minutes, long time he didn’t play and he played with incredible personality,” Guardiola said. “In the second part of the season we will need him because Rodri cannot play all the time.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, Guardiola added: “Gareth knows him. That’s important. A lot of days to go until the first game of the World Cup. He’s ready.”

And Phillips himself told BBC 5 Live: “I feel good. After the first 10 minutes on the pitch my heart was racing. I was just glad to be back out there after seven weeks of hard work to try and push for the World Cup squad and just be back fit in general.

“It is funny, obviously the operation I had is between eight and 12 weeks and eight weeks is bang on the first game of the World Cup. It was a tough decision but one I am happy I made now.

“I’ll be nervous but if it is a positive call I will be very happy. I feel like I have worked very hard to get to this moment. If it happens I will be very happy.”

‘He was already’ – Pep Guardiola makes Mikel Arteta ‘monster’ claim amid Arsenal’s latest form

Pep Guardiola has claimed that Mikel Arteta was already an elite coach in the making before he was the Spaniard’s assistant coach at the Etihad

Pep Guardiola has claimed that Mikel Arteta already had a ‘monster’ attitude towards coaching before taking him under his wing at Manchester City.

Arteta’s Arsenal have made the best possible start to the new Premier League season. They currently edge City by two points in the league, but after their best start since the Invincibles in 2003/04, the Gunners have recorded 34 of a possible 39 points and look set to go into the World Cup enforced break top of the tree.

Nevertheless, it has taken a while to get to this point. After two eighth-placed finishes, some supporters were calling for Arteta to be sacked. Guardiola, though, has always known that he was destined to be an elite manager.

Before his managerial career officially started at the Emirates Stadium, Arteta impressed as an assistant coach at City. Many presumed that Guardiola was simply guiding his friend for a career in management, but during an interview with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport, he insisted that Arteta already possessed the qualities to make it as a top coach.

Speaking about the impact Guardiola had on Arteta’s career in coaching, Ferdinand said: “You’ve created a monster [in Mikel Arteta].” However, the Spaniard insisted that Arteta didn’t need too much guidance.

In response, Guardiola said: “No, absolutely not. He was already. I know Mikel, they see him, the sporting director Edu & the club, how he works, we saw in the documentary. Rely on him. It’s a process.”

Arteta’s determination is evident. Whether it results in further success at the Emirates remains to be seen. Arsenal fans certainly hope that it will.

Source: www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk; www.football.london

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