Former Man City midfielder reveals Guardiola called him ‘overweight’

Kalvin Phillips left the Manchester club on a loan deal in January

By Web Desk
February 11, 2024
Kalvin Phillips couldn't make an impact during his time with Man City. — Reuters

Former Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips recently gave an interview to The Guardian where he revealed that Pep Guardiola once called him “overweight”.

Man City splashed out approximately £42m to secure the services of Phillips from Leeds United during the 2022 summer transfer window.

Despite clinching a couple of trophies last season, the England international's tenure at the Manchester club didn't unfold as expected.

The 28-year-old saw limited game time for the Premier League champions before departing last month to join West Ham on loan, unable to displace the formidable midfielder Rodri.

Following the mid-season World Cup in 2022, Guardiola hinted to reporters that Phillips returned "overweight".

Acknowledging this remark, Phillips conceded that Guardiola was "correct," although he remarked there were "alternative approaches" to address the issue.

"After the World Cup, it was probably the toughest when Pep stated I was overweight," Phillips acknowledged during an interview with The Guardian.

“He was right to do so but there are different ways to go about it. I did not disagree with him but obviously I took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City. And my family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum.”

“It was just a misunderstanding and I think he was very frustrated with me coming back 1.5kg over my weight target.

“I just took it on the chin. Me being the right professional, I probably should have gone in the day after the tournament finished but it’s one of those things that you live and learn.”

Furthermore, Phillips recognised his "lowest point" at Manchester City when he was at fault for Leicester City's goal during his team's 3-1 victory in April 2023.

“I just felt shit,” Phillips added. “It was probably the low-point, confidence-wise. I spoke to Bielsa afterwards.

“He called me back via a translator and we had a conversation for around half an hour.

“He said he’d watched every game I’d been involved in since I moved from Leeds and he told me what he thought I should do to become the player I was at Leeds.”