Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to rediscover their mojo after his tirade over their performances ahead of their Premier League clash with Wolves this weekend.
A 4-2 win over Tottenham on Thursday required the Citizens to come off the canvas from a two-goal deficit, delivering a pinpoint performance of seized chances to take victory.
But Guardiola was less than impressed by their spirit and let his feelings be known afterwards that he expects more from his men.
“How do I get the fire back?” he asked. “It’s my duty, my job. I want my fans back. I don’t recognise my team. I’m not going to tell you what I said at half-time but I want a reaction for all the club, all the organisation, the players, the staff, everyone.
“We are a happy flowers team but I don’t want to be happy flowers. I want to beat Arsenal, but if we play in that way Arsenal will destroy us. The players want it, they train really good but there is something that is here in the clouds.”
Opposite number Julen Lopetegui meanwhile weighed in on the impact Spain international Pablo Sarabia can bring to the club following his arrival this window.
“He’s a player that I’ve known a long time,” he added. “He’s here to help us to get our aims and we are happy that he is here.
“He’s never played in England before, so it’s important that he has to adapt very quickly, but he’s an experienced player and he’s going to help us, undoubtedly.
“What’s most important is that he is able to make good decisions, be able to play well and to work hard with the ball.
“He’s an experienced player who can help us, of course he has to adapt to England and the rhythm of the game, of course he can adapt to the quality of the game, but it’s the rhythm of the matches which is important.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Man City – Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgium international has been directly involved in nine goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Wolves, scoring five and assisting four. However, all of these goal involvements have come away from home.
Wolves – Daniel Podence
The Portuguese winger has scored three goals in his last four Premier League games, as many as he had in his previous 23. He’s scored in consecutive matches for the first time in the competition, with his last four goals being worth seven points to Wolves.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Since losing both Premier League games against Wolves in 2019-20, Manchester City have won their last five in a row against them, scoring 16 goals and conceding just three.
– Wolves have picked up just four points in eight Premier League visits to Manchester City (W1 D1 L6), with their one win there coming in October 2019.
– Wolves have won just four of their 17 Premier League games against reigning champions (D1 L12), losing the last five in a row. However, 50% of these wins came against Manchester City in 2019-20, including their only such away win (2-0).
– Since their return to the Premier League in 2018, Wolves have received more red cards against Manchester City than they have against any other opponent in the competition (3), accounting for 33% of their total reds in that time (3/9). Nathan Collins was dismissed in the reverse fixture at Molineux this season.
– Man City lost their last Premier League game on a Sunday, going down 1-0 at Liverpool in October. They last lost consecutive such matches between February and July 2020 (3 in a row).