Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola believes Jurgen Klopp is wasting his time moaning about Premier League match chaos and suggested managers could take jobs in the “Maldives League” if they are unhappy with the schedule.
Liverpool were in action against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday, winning the first leg 2-0, and meeting Newcastle United on Saturday morning.
The quick turnaround between the matches has been branded as “brutal” by Klopp, while Liverpool saw a request to move the match at St James’ Park to Saturday night rejected by the Premier League.
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Guardiola says, however, that it is pointless to complain.
“Nothing is going to change,” Guardiola said at a news conference Friday. “It’s not going to change because the broadcasters are thinking about what they need to do to get more viewers. It’s not about what the players need or what the teams need.
“Of course I understand that, but what should I say? We are not going to solve the problem, I have said many times. Sir Alex Ferguson was the most important icon in the history of English football and he complained when he was a teenager.”
City and Liverpool are separated by a point at the top of the table with five games left.
While Liverpool have been asked to play on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, City have an extra 30 hours to recover before meeting Leeds United on Saturday night following their 4-3 win over Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Guardiola – who said earlier Friday that Klopp’s new Liverpool contract would have no bearing on his future in the city – added that a hectic schedule is nothing new and advised all unhappy managers to work in the Maldives instead.
“We played in Madrid against Atletico and three days later we played at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool,” said Guardiola. “Chelsea played on Tuesday and could have played on Saturday, but played on Sunday. Do you think they are thinking about it? No, because next Tuesday Liverpool will play against United.
“Everyone has their own business to defend. We adapt. If they say, play Saturday, we play Saturday. If they say, play Tuesday, we play Tuesday. Thursday? We have to play Thursday. Whatever they want, it’s not no problem.If I’m not happy, I’m going home and not the manager of Man City.
“I go to another league in the Maldives, Maldives League, and play one game a week, and I’m so comfortable under the coconuts, and that would be so perfect. But that’s not the case. You’re playing at 12:30, I’m sorry Liverpool, but I’m not involved. “