Guardiola shows sympathy for ex-Newcastle boss Bruce after abuse
LONDON: Pep Guardiola says he still loves being a football manager but ignores social media after Steve Bruce spoke about the abuse he received as Newcastle boss following his departure from St James’ Park this week.
Bruce, who left his job by “mutual consent” two weeks after a Saudi-led takeover, admitted he could walk away from the game, such was the level of vitriol directed at him and his family.
Guardiola offered sympathy and praise for Bruce, but said the best way to survive in the game was to disregard what was being said online.
“We get praise when we win, and we are incredibly criticised, sometimes more than the worst in society, because we don’t win games,” said the City boss.
Asked if he enjoyed the job, he said: “I love it. To the comments online I pay no attention. I know as a manager the success is because we have done it, not I have done it.”
Guardiola is in his sixth season with City, the longest stay anywhere in his managerial career.
The 50-year-old took a year’s sabbatical when he left Barcelona in 2012 before later joining Bayern Munich, and said he felt the scrutiny faced by coaches in Spain was even more intense than in the Premier League.
“Here it is nicer,” he said. “Especially with social media, in Spain they are more involved. There are journalists at training sessions. It’s the same but more intense.
“But the fact is the same… if you want to be a manager, accept it.”
Guardiola said Bruce must ignore the critics and focus on messages such as that which came from Newcastle forward Allan Saint-Maximin, saying only those who actually knew the manager were in a position to comment.
“I read the post on Twitter from Saint-Maximin and this for me is what Steve Bruce is,” said the Catalan, whose side travel to face high-flying Brighton on Saturday.
“He is an exceptional gentleman who always took care of me so nicely when I came from Catalonia, a different country.”
Guardiola also sent a message of support to Belgium-based City fan Guido De Pauw, 63, who remains in a coma after being the victim of an attack from rival supporters following the 5-1 Champions League win over Club Brugge on Tuesday.
Two suspects are in custody with three others released on bail.
Guardiola appeared at his Friday press conference in a T-shirt that read: ‘We’re with you, Guido’, and said: “On behalf of all of the club, from our chairman Khaldoon (Al Mubarak), for him, we are quite optimistic.
“In the last hours he is getting better and of course he has all of the support from the club on what they need for the investigation.”
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