Pep Guardiola has been accused of “cheating” Man City fans, who “get no value for money” when they buy a match ticket to watch the Premier League side.
The Spaniard has done a phenomenal job since taking over at Man City in 2015. He has helped them win the Premier League on four occasions and they are hoping to lift the Champions League this term.
One of the hallmarks of Guardiola’s spell at Man City has been his use of squad rotation. He is spoilt for choice with the players at his disposal and he is always keen to give them as much game time as possible through a season.
Kevin De Bruyne is regarded as one of the best players in the world but even he has fallen victim to Guardiola rotating in recent weeks.
The Belgium international was an unused substitute against Tottenham and Bournemouth, while he played for just 11 minutes at Crystal Palace last weekend.
Journalist Jan Mulder attended the Palace game and he was left baffled upon hearing that De Bruyne was not starting.
“On Saturday 11 March, I was in London and got the hunch to go to Crystal Palace versus Manchester City at Selhurst Park in the morning,” Mulder wrote in HUMO (via Sport Witness).
“I wanted to enjoy an hour and a half of Kevin De Bruyne, the virtuoso Belgian who reads the game like no other and is the draw in Manchester City’s file.
“I paid the peppery admission ticket, sat down in my seat and listened to the stadium speaker with the line-ups. De Bruyne was not participating.
“Manager Guardiola: ‘I know how important Kevin is. But at the same time, there are moments in a season when form goes up and down.
“Sometimes one player can suddenly be better than another. That is normal. Every match is different. I choose my players specifically according to a particular match.’
“These are the strike-through theories of a coach who gets a bit carried away and makes his job far more complicated than it needs to be. En passant, he cheats ticket buyers.
“De Bruyne himself shrugged and said: ‘It is as it is.’ And where is the customer? Nowhere. He has no right to speak. He pays the price demanded but gets no value for money. Money back!”
Despite recently being in and out of the team, De Bruyne insisted earlier this week that he is “feeling fine”.
“I think it’s alright. I think people have a different standard [of me] to a lot of players,” De Bruyne said.
“People expect me to score every game, assist every game. I think there’s been less assists but I don’t think I’ve been creating less. I feel fine.”
He added: “Maybe not the best I’ve ever played but it’s good. I guess I expect more from myself than you guys ever do. There’s no pressure. I play football because I like it, not because I have to.”
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