Pep Guardiola denies claims some of his Man City players have weight issues
Pep Guardiola has dismissed reports that a number of Manchester City players turned up to pre-season overweight.
This follows the recent remarks made by Gael Clichy who revealed that the 45-year-old has implemented a strict new diet regime as he works to build a Premier League-winning side.
Clichy remarked that any players deemed overweight were not allowed to train with the first team while pizza and juice drinks had all been banned.
But speaking on Wednesday, Guardiola denied suggestions that some of his players were overweight heading into pre-season.
"They were not overweight but I want my players fit," Guardiola told reporters on Wednesday.
"For me, the weight is so, so important. We need to run, to fight, to jump – to have the ball, after three days, then another three days, then another three days.
“When you are not fit, that's when the injuries come."
Clichy was full of praise for the Spaniard who has introduced an innovative and forward-thinking style of management that he has not previously seen.
The Frenchman admitted that no stone has been unturned by the new manager, whose squad is currently in China as they prepare to face Borussia Dortmund in Shenzhen on Thursday.
“Everything [has been covered by Guardiola,]” Clichy said. “On the field, outside the field, every detail counts.
“For example, you often hear managers say being healthy is really important, but with him, if you’re weight is too high, you’re not training with the team.
“That is the first thing, and you can hear it a lot, but for my part it’s the first time any manager has really done it.
“In truth, it’s not always like this and I know because I’ve been playing football for a long time. It’s really refreshing and very exciting.”
In addition to his progressive training approach, Guardiola has also said he would allow the players to decide who will lead them in the absence of injury-prone captain Vincent Kompany.
"The players have to choose the captain. They have to decide. If Vincent Kompany is not playing because he is injured, or [because of] my decision, it is not a big problem," the manager said.
"We have a lot of experience. I am not in the locker room, I am not in the meetings. They have to choose themselves. They know each other better than me. That is their responsibility."
Independent News Service