Alan Shearer was 'surprised' by Pep Guardiola's 'overweight' comment

‘I was surprised… has he been disappointed in his attitude?’: Alan Shearer suggests Pep Guardiola called out Kalvin Phillips for returning to Man City overweight from the World Cup in order to ’embarrass’ the midfielder

  • Alan Shearer suggested that Pep Guardiola is trying to embarrass Kalvin Phillips 
  • The former Barcelona boss labelled the England midfielder, 27, ‘overweight’ 
  • READ: Jesse Marsch believes Elland Road return could bring out best in Phillips 

Alan Shearer revealed his surprise at Pep Guardiola’s comments on Kalvin Phillips’ weight after he returned from World Cup duty with England in Qatar, suggesting the manager wanted to ’embarrass’ his player.

Manchester City boss Guardiola said that the midfielder had come back to the club ‘overweight’ and the Spaniard has come in for heavy criticism for his comments. 

Former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys claimed he ‘exposed Kalvin Phillips to ridicule’, and Shearer agreed that Guardiola’s words might ’embarrass him to a certain extent.’ 

Pep Guardiola said that Kalvin Phillips was ‘overweight’ after returning from World Cup duty

‘I was surprised,’ Shearer said as part of Amazon’s coverage of City’s clash with Leeds on Wednesday night. ‘I don’t know why he said it – I’m guessing there must have been a reason. 

‘Maybe embarrass him to a certain extent – has he been disappointed in his attitude? Whether he’s firing something back at him. 

‘It hasn’t gone as well as one would hope – whether that be for injury or some other reason. There must be a reason.’

Alan Shearer admitted that the Spanish coach’s comments about Phillips left him ‘surprised’

Having joined the Etihad in July 2022, the ex-Leeds midfielder has endured a torrid start to his career at the reigning Premier League champions. 

Phillips has made just four appearances for his new club so far in 2022-23, having struggled with injury on a regular basis. 

He missed 11 games as a result of a shoulder injury which had initially left his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad in peril, but he managed to recover in time to make the final 26-man squad. 

But the latest fitness setback – which initially saw him banished from training – indicates that his new manager is losing faith in him. 

Shearer suggested that Guardiola was attempting to embarrass the 2021 England Player of the Year

Amazon colleague Eni Aluko echoed Shearer’s suggestions, adding: ‘It’s like he’s gone out of his way to embarrass him.’

However Nedum Onuoha downplayed the speculation, suggesting that the player’s presence on the bench indicated there was no ill-will born between the pair. 

‘For them to be away for that time, not everyone was playing in those games,’ he claimed. ‘They might not be training as hard – the players who were back in England are in incredible condition, according to Conte, and those who are away were not.

‘The fact is he’s on the bench today, and I wouldn’t bet against him coming on.’ 

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