Pep Guardiola criticised for backing Benjamin Mendy after New Year Covid rule breach
Guardiola urged those judging Mendy to look at their own actions
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been criticised for his quotes regarding Benjamin Mendy's breach of Covid regulations on New Years Eve.
City confirmed over the weekend that Mendy would be the subject of an internal investigation after reports he held a party at his Cheshire home on New Years Eve. He is understood to have invited two friends and a chef to his house, despite the fact mixing of households is not currently permitted where he lives, which is classified as a Tier 4 area.
Despite this, the defender was named on the bench for City's 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola appeared to defend his player, urging others to look at their own actions throughout the pandemic instead of judging his.
Guardiola on Mendy’s party - saying it’s what many other people could have done on New Year’s Eve pic.twitter.com/L315eu1Tjw
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) January 3, 2021
"Benjamin already had Covid in the past, he has been tested every day like all the other players," Guardiola said. "He has explained, he knows what he has done and he will learn in the future.
"He is part of the group, he is one of the guys who is much beloved in our group. In the stands today he was the most active player. He is a special guy for us and has an incredible heart.
"I would like to see how many people will now judge him and see if they have the good intentions that he has.
"But he has to understand some things. I would like to know how many people did this on New Years Eve, but normally in this society we judge the others when first we should judge ourselves.
"I’m not justifying it, he broke the rules. But don’t give too many lessons to the others."
Guardiola's support for Mendy received criticism from many of those who heard it:
It was so important and so easy for Pep Guardiola to say that Benjamin Mendy's actions were totally unacceptable and to express full remorse. Instead, he goes down the route of tone-deaf nonsense. So, so disappointing. https://t.co/5qPCvv8Gm3
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) January 3, 2021
I don't know if it's the language barrier or something that Pep Guardiola falls back on, but calling his players 'good guys' when they've made mistakes doesn't feel particularly helpful. Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero and now Benjamin Mendy.
— Molly Hudson (@M0lly_Writes) January 3, 2021
Guardiola understandably delighted with how #mcfc played today, but then put up a baffling defence of Benjamin Mendy. It undermines the manager talking about how serious Covid is if he appears to brush off one of his players breaking the protocols https://t.co/8HkH0UkcYB
— Simon Bajkowski (@spbajko) January 3, 2021
City will now turn their attentions to the League Cup, where they will look to reach another final in Wednesday's semi-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford.