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02nd Jan 2017

Pep’s painful post-Burnley interview is early contender for the most awkward moment of 2017

Very painful viewing.

Mike Wright

It’s not usually this hard for Pep.

Normally he just takes charge of the strongest team in a league (with the possibility of one other exception if he’s playing on Legendary mode).

Then he does something unorthodox with wing backs or a pivot, makes some intellectual pronouncements about positional play and then walks away with a sackful of silverware.

Job done. Usually.

But things are not going quite to plan in his first Premier League campaign. Saturday’s 0-1 defeat to Liverpool was a real body blow to City’s title hopes. And now the Catalan finds himself in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of being third in the table and seven points off leaders Chelsea.

So you’d imagine seeing City beat Burnley 2-1 despite going down to 10 men after Fernandinho’s two-footed horror challenge on 32 minutes would help lighten Pep’s sullen mood of late.

Well, not in the slightest, going by the very, very awkward interview Guardiola gave to the BBC after the match.

Maybe it was Fernandinho getting sent off for the third time in six matches, maybe someone had just told him the massive spoiler for his favourite show, but whatever it was, Pep was really not in the mood for questions.

He started off leaving BBC Sport’s Damian Johnson hanging on the first two questions by merely answering ‘yes, that’s true’. Then he refused to give his assessment of the red card, complaining that he was not a journalist.

Things got so bad the reporter had to resort to asking Pep if he was even happy his team won.

At which point Pep put on the sort of forced smile you do when you meet your new partner’s parents for the first time and protested his happiness.

Then dropped this: “I am so happy believe me, so happy. Happy New Year”. Which sounded a lot more like a desperate attempt to find a way out of the train-wreck interview then a sincere New Year’s greeting.

Definitely a strong, if very early, contender for the most awkward moment of 2017.