Pep Guardiola regrets approaching Southampton winger Nathan Redmond after Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Southampton but is bemused by the Football Association (FA) asking for his observations on the incident.
In the immediate aftermath of Premier League leaders City snatching the points through Raheem Sterling’s 96th-minute winner, Guardiola approached Redmond on the field and gesticulated in an animated fashion.
Guardiola’s behaviour appeared to be aggressive but he claimed afterwards he was merely praising Redmond’s attacking qualities – something the once-capped England international corroborated in a statement issued on Thursday to refute allegations made by The Sun newspaper that the City boss directed foul and abusive language towards him.
Nevertheless, Guardiola’s unusual display has prompted the FA to ask him to explain his version of events by Monday. He has not been charged with misconduct at this stage.
Speaking at a news conference to preview Sunday’s Premier League game against West Ham, Guardiola was asked whether he regretted his actions and simply replied: “Yes.”
He went on to draw parallels with an infamous incident during his time in charge of Bayern Munich.
“It happened in Munich when I was with my old player, lovely player, Joshua Kimmich. I did the same after a game in Dortmund and I had regrets then after the game and the same now, he explained.”
“I cannot control myself. I have to do that but I could not. Hopefully I can improve.”
Guardiola was grateful to Redmond for coming forward to verify his own words to reports after the match and, as such, he was unsure over why the FA felt the need to pursue the matter further.
“What I said is what I said and what Nathan Redmond said in his statement yesterday,” he continued. “I admire him as a football player and I say thank you for his comments.
“If the FA wants my statement again I am able to explain whatever they want but, if they don’t believe me, I don’t know what we are doing here. I don’t know why we make press conferences.
“If you ask me what happened and I explain what happened and the people don’t believe me it is better we cancel our press conferences and just play games.
“If they want to listen to me, I will do it. The can do that with me, with Nathan and with The Sun. It’s not a problem.”
Guardiola telling Redmond, who opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium last season, he should attack more has led to accusations in some quarters that the City boss was disrespectful towards Mauricio Pellegrino and the tactics employed to near success by his former Barcelona team-mate.
“I played against millions of managers in my career and the different ways they play. I will never judge the way my opponents want to play against my teams because I don’t like the other managers judging what I want to do,” he added.
“I know Pellegrino wanted to win the game, definitely. They defended with 10 players in the box because they believed this was the best way. I have faced these kind of teams a lot of times in my career.
“Of course, he was my team-mate. I was friends with Mauricio in Barcelona. Never, never in my career and in press conference, on the pitch and off the pitch was I disrespectful about what they do to beat me.
“It is the same as what I do to beat them. I believe in a way and sometimes it can be more surprising that other.
“With Southampton, he can play the way he played but can also play completely differently. They can play both ways because they have amazing players.”