Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says striker Sergio Aguero and defender Vincent Kompany both “have a future” at the Premier League club.
Neither started the Champions League defeat at Barcelona, with Kompany not even on the bench, leading to reports they are not in Guardiola’s plans.
But the Spaniard said: “Vincent was not perfectly fit. Sergio, I said after the game, was a tactical decision.
“If Sergio decides to leave it will be his decision.”
Guardiola confirmed Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna will both miss Sunday’s Premier League game with Southampton at Etihad Stadium due to injury.
His decision to leave out Aguero and Kompany has been questioned, as has the performance of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who was sent off at the Nou Camp, and his high intensity, possession-based philosophy, which Guardiola has said repeatedly he will not change, has drawn criticism.
In a series of detailed, expansive and passionate answers, one of which lasted six minutes and 35 seconds, Guardiola spent 31 minutes explaining:
- why he selected the team he did
- why he feels he got it right
- why he has total faith in his own ability
On the futures of Aguero and Kompany
“Vincent and Sergio’s futures are at Manchester City. When he is fit, he is a real central defender. I like him. With respect to Aguero, it was a tactical decision. I wanted one more midfield player in the middle. I try to keep the ball because when you have it, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez don’t.
“The next time before you give your opinion and decide Sergio is not in my plans you can call me. I appreciate him as a football player and as a man. When Sergio decides to leave Manchester City, it will be his decision.
“I saw the game this morning and until the first goal the game was under control. My mistake is my mistake. Aguero was my decision. We lost 4-0. I’m guilty. If we win in Barcelona, I am a genius.”
On individual performances
“I know from the beginning when Claudio Bravo makes a mistake, he will be on the front page. He has to fight against that. He was alone, just one guy pressing the ball and three players to pass to. The decision was not wrong but he did not pass well.
“We cannot forget its the first time John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne went to Barcelona for this kind of game. Stones has had two Champions League games. For him to go there and play with that personality is amazing.”
On style of play
“I think about changing the way I play but the solution is not better than what I believe. In seven years I won 21 titles, three titles per year playing in that way. I am not going to change. If it is not going well next season I will go home.
“I came here for three years. After three years in Barcelona and Bayern Munich it was much better than after three months. I need time to learn the competitions, especially the Premier League.
“On Saturday (Everton manager) Ronald Koeman said in his press conference he never saw a team play football like Manchester City. That is the best compliment I could ever receive.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37731741