Pep Guardiola says he understands if Sergio Aguero is frustrated with him but says it doesn’t matter as long as he gets on with his Manchester City teammates.
ESPN reported that the City striker was growing increasingly disillusioned with his role at City under Guardiola after being regularly left out of the starting lineup.
Aguero was back in the team to face Bournemouth and scored twice in a comfortable 4-0 victory that saw City extend their winning streak to a record 17 games. But Guardiola is only worried about his team ethic.
“I was a football player and I understand that when they are a substitute, they are sad and upset but our job is to try to search for something to make us win,” Guardiola told a news conference. “I try to have the best relationship as possible with my players because we are together and I understand completely when they are upset but sometimes I think Gabriel [Jesus] deserve to play too. I understand it.
“The important thing is the respect between each other. Don’t be happy with me — that’s not a problem. They have an amazing relationship between them, the locker room — it’s a dream to go in there everyday and see them. That’s the most important thing.
“I understand the feelings but I respect Sergio a lot. What he has done, what he does and what he will do in the future. He’s a legend. He will decide everything about his life, his future and I’m so happy to have him here.”
City were again dominant against the Cherries and second half goals from Raheem Sterling and substitute Danilo — his first for the club — made the scoreline more emphatic. Guardiola said he was impressed with his side’s ability to keep up their tempo as they made it 18 wins from 19 matches in the Premier League to maintain their huge lead at the top.
“Always, you have doubts after a lot of games in a row and if you are mentally ready to do it again and again,” Guardiola added. “That has impressed me most about the guys — that they were ready.
“It was similar to the Southampton and Huddersfield games, and also West Ham in that Bournemouth defended with 5-4-1 with their striker Callum Wilson with Fernandinho.
“We had hardly any space — there was no space between the lines. We made a good first goal and the second helped us a lot. We changed the system to 4-4-2 and found tempo and space. We scored four beautiful goals. I am so happy. Merry Christmas to everybody! Now, we are thinking about Newcastle.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admitted it was a tough day, particularly a lengthening injury list, which got worse when striker Junior Stanislas limped off in the 12th minute.
“I thought we did okay. It was a huge task for us today, not just the team we were facing but the injuries we have got,” Howe said. “The second goal is the killer, We still tried to chase it and opened ourselves up.”