Guardiola says sorry to EPL 'colleagues'

Bayern Munich's head coach Pep Guardiola gestures during a training session in Doha, Qatar, on Jan 10, 2016.
Bayern Munich's head coach Pep Guardiola gestures during a training session in Doha, Qatar, on Jan 10, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

DOHA • Pep Guardiola apologised on Monday after being accused of putting extra pressure on managers at England's top teams by announcing he will coach in the Premier League next season.

With Manchester City favourites to snag the world's most sought-after manager, every single slip-up by City has cast doubts over Manuel Pellegrini's future at the club.

The last time City lost - against Everton in the League Cup semi-final first leg - Guardiola's name was mentioned in several of the match reports as Pellegrini's potential successor. And the same can be expected again if City drop points at Goodison Park in the Premier League today.

Guardiola was accused by former England striker Alan Shearer in a British daily newspaper of lacking "etiquette" after not making clear where he would coach next season.

Guardiola, said Shearer, had "put more pressure on those in the hot seats at Man City, Man United and Arsenal".

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had earlier hit out at Guardiola after Bayern Munich announced mid-season that the Spaniard will leave them at the end of this campaign.

"Personally I don't like that a manager comes out so early on their plans because it's not good for their own teams and increases speculations about the managers who are going through a difficult patch," Wenger told a press conference last month.

But, speaking in Doha, where Bayern Munich are on the last day of a winter training camp, Guardiola said it had never been his intention to disrespect his coaching colleagues.

"I am sorry," he said. "Normally, in my career as a trainer, as a player, I respect a lot my colleagues, so I am sorry. It wasn't my intention."

On Monday, Guardiola again refused to be drawn on which club he will end up next season but told reporters his focus would "of course" remain on Bayern until the end of the season.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'Guardiola says sorry to EPL 'colleagues''. Print Edition | Subscribe