‘Maybe Mourinho is a doctor!’ – Guardiola hits back at Tottenham coach’s Sterling claims
Pep Guardiola has hit back at Jose Mourinho, who suggested that Manchester City put pressure on England boss Gareth Southgate to release Raheem Sterling early ahead of Saturday’s game.
At the end of a week in which Guardiola signed a new two-year Man City contract and Mourinho celebrated a year in charge of Tottenham, the pair will meet at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Mourinho has never shied away from finding issue with his various nemeses – and Guardiola has often been among them.
This week’s discussion suggested City influenced Southgate to see Sterling released early from England duty, adding to earlier claims Guardiola’s side are guilty of diving.
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These criticisms initially prompted a joke about Mourinho’s medical expertise and then a dismissive response.
“Mourinho has to go to the doctors for the national team from England and from Manchester City,” Guardiola said.
“He has to go to the doctors – except if Mourinho maybe is a doctor. I don’t know.”
He added: “Listen, I’m not going to answer anything about Jose.
“I said about the doctor because he accused something we have done which is not true, so he has to speak with doctors about all these other things.
“Don’t ask me because I’m almost 50, so I’m old enough to understand.”
Mourinho’s Tottenham are five points and eight places above City heading into the weekend, but Guardiola was rewarded with a new deal despite a shaky start to the new season.
He knows results must follow if he is to still be at the helm in 2023, though.
“When I arrived here, I didn’t expect to be seven years here,” Guardiola said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen – it depends on the results, to be honest.
“We have success and we are happy, so why not? If we don’t have success, we will be less happy and want a change. It’s simple.
“So I’m here and continuing because we have had incredible success, last year won two titles. We won eight in the last three and we want to try to do it so again. No more than this.
“Still I am enjoying doing this job, so what happens in two years I cannot answer you.
“I didn’t know what was happening, what would happen 10 days ago, 15 days ago. Our conversation this week with the club and especially Khaldoon [Al Mubarak], we clarified the deal together, the targets and we decided to continue.
“What’s going to happen in two years, no manager can say it because it depends on the results, depends on how good we are doing.
“Maybe we cannot win and we’re performing well; okay, it’s not a problem. Or maybe we’re not performing well and maybe… sports can happen.
“You drop a little bit our performance and lack of titles and after the situation will be completely opposite, but it’s in two years.
“In football, two months, three months is a lot of time. Imagine two years.”