09 Nov Wijnaldum queries Guardiola’s’odd’ diving asserts
The Netherlands midfielder has reacted to suggestions in the Manchester City manager the Reds use simulation to get an edge
Gini Wijnaldum considers Pep Guardiola’s remarks about Liverpool diving were”odd” but says he’s awaiting Sunday’s crunch clash with Manchester City at Anfield.
The Reds enter the weekend knowing a win will take them nine points clear on peak of the Premier League.
Victory for Guardiola’s side, naturally, would close the gap to three points and also inflict Liverpool’s first league defeat since they lost in the Etihad Stadium in the turn of this year.
Guardiola fired the first shots from the media conflict last weekend, speaking about the”unique gift” of Jurgen Klopp’s side, and specifically Sadio Mane.
“Occasionally he’s diving, occasionally he’s this ability to score extraordinary goals in the last moment,” that the City manager told BBC Sport past Saturday.
The two Klopp and Mane have addressed these remarks, together with Mane jokingly faking he’d’dive’ back on Sunday in case it will help his side. Guardiola, for his part, appeared to row back on his first words when requested to explain earlier in the week.
Wijnaldum, obviously, was eager to not enter a war of words, however, he confessed he was amazed by Guardiola’s remarks.
“I heard what he said,” he told reporters. “He also gave his view about us and how he believes. Nothing bad at that. That’s his view. In his view Sadio is a diver. What can you say about this?
“I did not observe the Villa one back [when Mane was booked for diving], so it is hard to present my view on this, however I can not recall Sadio doing this before. We have VAR Too, therefore…
“Just how many gamers of ours have experienced a yellow card for diving? Sadio was the very first, I believe? So to state that we’re divers, I think that it’s a bit odd. That is my view.”
Wijnaldum was in no mood to speculate on the way that Sunday’s game could play out, even though he indicated that an open, free-flowing match would match either side.
“Perhaps they’ll play with different,” that the Dutch midfielder said. “I believe it suits each team if it’s a more open game, but it’s also a indication of respect when they play otherwise.”
Liverpool, such as City, had to emerge from behind to pick up three points in their final league match. Even though Guardiola’s negative were beating Southampton 2-1 in the Etihad, Klopp’s guys were scoring two goals in the last 3 minutes to watch Villa.
It has grown into a Reds hallmark, those fighting wins and those magnificent late winners. Since the beginning of 2019, they’ve come from behind to win precious things in seven distinct games.
“That is something we shifted in the past couple of decades,” Wijnaldum explained. “A year or two ago we were fighting to win matches such as we win them today, however we grew and learned a lot through recent years.
“We only established that thing we all know we can always turn things around. We constantly have that atmosphere, to remain optimistic. That is also due to the consequences we had until today, and also how we arrived back.
“Our mindset differs, which can be very good, since we continue doing what we would like to perform in a match. Normally if you’re 2-0 down, your body language will change, however we still have that mindset that we can turn it around. It is due to the belief we’ve got in one another, but in addition the outcomes we’ve had.
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“When it only happened once, it is different. But it occurred repeatedly. We all know we’re a team that will always return from difficult conditions, but naturally we do not wish to allow it to go that much!”
Asked if it had been physically and emotionally demanding to win games like that, Wijnaldum added:”It’s hard, extremely hard. You need to go before the conclusion, and you need to go even once you don’t physically observe a favorable outcome.
“Particularly at the conclusion of these matches, you just keep moving as you feel you can. Your own body is tired and thus you struggle with your own body such as’no, we must go, we must move on’. It’s really difficult, but in the long run you enjoy it if you win this way than if it’s easy.”