On-loan Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips has this weekend provided an insight into the damage both he and his family were previously subjected to by Sky Blues boss Pep Guardiola.
Midfielder Phillips, for his part, secured a January departure from Man City, linking up with West Ham United for the 2nd half of the campaign.
This came with the former Leeds United man having been struggling for game-time under the watch of the aforementioned Guardiola once more.
Speaking in an interview with The Times today, Phillips, in turn, was drawn on the motivation behind his decision to make the move to the London Stadium.
And the 28-year-old went on to explain:
“I wouldn’t have been at the Euros this summer if I hadn’t left in January. I spoke to England manager Gareth Southgate about some teams a month before the January window and he influenced me to stay in the Premier League in instead of going abroad. I thought West Ham was the right place. I look for consistency, otherwise there was the possibility that someone else would play in my place and that would be heartbreaking.”
From here, Phillips was also drawn on his long-standing struggles in Manchester.
And this line of questioning culminated in the talented Englishman providing an insight into just how negative an impact the now-infamous comments regarding his weight on the part of Pep Guardiola truly had.
After returning to base at The Etihad having gained over a kilogram in weight whilst on international duty at the World Cup, Phillips was publicly called out by his manager.
And as much had a crippling effect on his confidence:
“After the World Cup was probably the toughest [moment], when Pep came out and said I was overweight. He was right to do so, but there are different ways to go about it. I did not disagree with him, but obviously I took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City.”
The ripple effect reached Phillips’ family, too, with his mother having been left particularly ‘frustrated’ with the situation:
”My family were not happy about it either, especially my mum. She got frustrated when I was at City, she didn’t come to watch as much.”
Conor Laird | GSFN