Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, came out in a surreal defense for Marcelo Bielsa after he was accused of spying on his rivals.
The whole situation of Marcelo Bielsa being accused of spying on his rivals in order to prepare his matches better for Leeds United, doesn’t seem to have struck a nerve for Pep Guardiola as the Catalan manager still defends the Argentine from any claim.
The Manchester City boss spoke openly about the whole situation and revealed that spying on opponents is a very common practice in football, it may not be regarded as respectful but it’s by no means illegal to do it.
A whole storm of criticism came over the Leeds United manager, particularly from Frank Lampard who completely disapproved of the way in which he disclosed the information.
For the Derby County manager, disclosing this topic violated certain rules of etiquette that need to be followed in football and Bielsa didn’t seem to care about them.
But a lot of people were also mesmerized by the whole ordeal, deeming Bielsa a “genius” for the tactical masterclass he offered during the press conference where he practically confessed to what he did.
Guardiola has always been a great admirer of Bielsa’s knowledge, they go way back to the days in which Pep still managed Barcelona and Marcelo coached Athletic Club.
Cuando Bielsa supo más de Barcelona que el propio Guardiola. pic.twitter.com/Kf3Jh18Yah
— Nicolás Lopresti (@NicoLopresti) January 17, 2019
This Friday there was a press conference that the Catalan manager offered ahead of Manchester City’s Sunday match at Huddersfield Town, where members of the press asked him about Bielsa’s revelations.
At first, Pep Guardiola did mention that such practices were controversial but they weren’t as much in other countries different than England.
The Catalan manager agreed with both Bielsa and Frank Lampard’s points, but he then proceeded to keep defending the Argentine manager by praising his capacity to store massive amounts of information and the great skills he has for creating such a sophisticated system, one that can help his players understand their rival better.
So far from accepting that Marcelo Bielsa was wrong for doing what he did, Guardiola doubled down on his admiration and gave him a pass that may not be well-received in England amongst journalists.
The funny part of the press conference came when a journalist was about to ask Guardiola if he would send spies to watch over his rivals, Pep immediately responded before he could ask the question and confirmed he wasn’t planning on doing anything of sorts.
“I admired what he did in the past.”
Pep Guardiola has had his say on Marcelo Bielsa.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 18, 2019
Ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Huddersfield, Pep Guardiola offered his usual press conference and spoke about the specifics of the upcoming match.
But asking him about the whole deal with Bielsa knowing the history both managers have together was inevitable, Pep didn’t shy away from any question and responded with honesty.
“My respect and admiration for Marcelo Bielsa are still the same,” said Pep as quoted by Diario Sport.
“He was very clear with his message the other day. I know him very well and I understand his position. But I also understand Frank Lampard’s position.”
“Everybody does this in other countries. I don’t know about here, everything is less open. It’s not only about football, everybody spies in society in general.”
“People always want to know what is going on in other people’s lives, they want to hunt somebody famous on the street… Take it easy, I am not sending anybody to spy on Huddersfield.”
“I saw the synthesis of Bielsa’s press conference and I can say there is no other manager in the world that works with that much information.”
“What I agree the most about what he said, is that the players are the ones who make a difference. In the end, they are the ones who are playing on the pitch,” he added.
Pep Guardiola says his respect levels for Marcelo Bielsa haven't changed at all after #spygate.
"Why should I change my opinion? I know him a bit and my opinion remains the same." pic.twitter.com/XFkQkL0UjS
— City Watch (@City_Watch) January 18, 2019
Why do you think Pep Guardiola is defending Bielsa from these accusations? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.