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Pep Guardiola Locked Himself In His Office In Lowest Moment As Manchester City Boss

Pep Guardiola Locked Himself In His Office In Lowest Moment As Manchester City Boss

Pep Guardiola refused to leave his office during what has been described as 'one of the lowest moments' in the Spaniard's reign at Manchester City.

In August 2017, just two games into the new season, 10-man City drew 1-1 at home to Everton after Raheem Sterling cancelled out Wayne Rooney's 200th Premier League goal in the first half.

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City, who saw Kyle Walker controversially sent off in the first half, had 65% possession and 19 shots on goal but couldn't convert their dominance into victory.

It was deja vu from his trophyless first season in charge, where City picked up just 40 points at home and finished 15 points behind league leaders Chelsea.

As per Martin Blackburn from The Sun, a frustrated Guardiola locked himself in his office after the game - not even speaking to his wife Cristina, his children or opposition manager Ronald Koeman, who he struck up a friendship with during their time at Barcelona.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Doubts were creeping in Pep's mind as to whether he could replicate his previous success at City but he received the most important bit of backing from chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who knocked on his door.

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As detailed in a new book called 'Pep's City - the Making of a Superteam", Khaldoon told Guardiola: You're our man. There's no one else. Don't worry."

Reflecting on that pivotal moment, Khaldoon said: "That evening was a tense and difficult moment but it would spawn thousands of wonderful ones.

"When you set out to do something so difficult and ambitious, the joy and stress go hand in hand."

Starting with a last-gasp win away at Bournemouth a week after the draw with Everton, City won a record 18 games in a row and went on to become the first side to accrue 100 points in a single Premier League season as they won the league.

City director of football Txiki Begiristain added: "It was the way Khaldoon talked to him that night, he showed how much confidence he had in us.

"Khaldoon told Pep that he knew it wasn't easy, but he had complete faith in what he was doing.

"He said that in his eyes there was no other way for the club to proceed. Only his way - the Guardiola way.

"Was it what Pep needed to hear? Of course. But he said it with such conviction and Pep believed him."

City would then win an unprecedented domestic treble the following season and have now won five out of the last six domestic trophies on offer, including two Community Shields.

The club now have their eyes fixed on the Champions League, a trophy Guardiola won twice at Barcelona but has failed to lift since 2011.

Topics: Manchester City, Football News, Football, Pep Guardiola, Premier League, Everton

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

 

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