Manchester City suffered their first defeat of the season yesterday, and Tony Cascarino has questioned Pep Guardiola’s decision not to start Kalvin Phillips.
Pep gave Phillips a rare start in the Carabao Cup against Newcastle United in midweek.
Before the game against Wolves, all eyes were on City’s teamsheet to see if Phillips would keep his starting spot.
But he didn’t, as Pep chose Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes instead.
Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez played as advanced midfielders.
Phillips will be disappointed, and Cascarino has questioned Pep’s choice…
Tony Cascarino was taken aback when Kavin Phillips was benched during Manchester City’s match against Wolves.
The encounter between City and Wolves was addressed on talkSPORT today, with Cascarino criticizing the visitors’ performance.
Rodri is currently suspended, so Pep is doing everything he can to compensate for the Spaniard’s absence.
He chose Kovacic and Nunes over Phillips yesterday, something Cascarino has questioned.
“Are you allowed to criticize one of the greatest, if not the greatest, managers of all time?” he said.
“After the game, Gary O’Neil stated that Rodri’s absence was a big plus because he makes their team tick.” As a result, he is no longer a member of the team. Rodri’s best substitute is Kalvin Phillips.
“Pep has decided not to play Kalvin Phillips, instead opting for Kovacic and Nunes.” They are both holding midfielders. Kovacic likes to get on the ball quickly and move it. But he’s nowhere near the tackler, like Kalvin Phillips or, obviously, Rodri are.”
Phillips definitely did not impress Pep against Newcastle. After the defeat, Pep was asked about Phillips and praised the midfielder.
However, watching him on Sky, it was clear that he was only saying that for the camera.
Phillips was extremely ordinary in the game, and he received no credit for the goal.
So it was maybe unsurprising to see the £150,000-a-week star named as a substitute against Wolves.
Cascarino believes he should have begun yesterday. Unfortunately, he did not make a compelling enough case.
We’ll see if he makes an appearance against Arsenal. You’d think that once Rodri returns, Phillips will be in the same boat in terms of minutes.