Guardiola plays down squad turnover, makes odd UCL excuse

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Pep Guardiola says he’s happy with his Manchester City squad, despite tabloid reports that up to 13 players will be sold this summer.

And he’s playing off Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League dismissal at the hands of Monaco.

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City led 5-3 after one leg but fell 3-1 at Monaco to go out on away goals, and one line of reasoning from Guardiola is particularly odd.

From the BBC:

“Lessons can be learned, that’s pretty sure. For a lot of my players it’s the first time they’ve played in this competition.

“Most of the goals we conceded were our mistake, it’s happened many time this season and hopefully it will happen less next season.”

Guardiola isn’t a manager who usually gives a lot of garbage answers, but that experience excuse makes eyes roll 720 degrees or more.

Aside from John Stones and Leroy Sane, his Wednesday 18 was nearly identical to the one he trotted out against Real Madrid in last season’s semifinal.

Wily Caballero, Aleksandar Kolarov, and Raheem Sterling went from the bench last year to this season’s XI, with Jesus Navas and Nicolas Otamendi heading the other direction, but this wasn’t about experience.

Most of his new faces who weren’t in the squad know a bit about the UCL, too: Ilkay Gundogan, Claudio Bravo, Nolito.

A bit lazy with that excuse, Pep.