‘Overweight’ Kalvin Phillips will not play or train with Man City until he gets in shape

Kalvin Phillips will not be allowed to play or train for Manchester City until he gets himself back in shape after returning from the World Cup “overweight”, according to manager Pep Guardiola.

Phillips was the only one of City’s five England World Cup representatives to be omitted from the squad for Thursday’s thrilling 3-2 Carabao Cup win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola initially said Phillips was “not fit” and “did not arrive in the best condition to train” following his return from Qatar.

But the City manager has since revealed that the midfielder reported back “overweight” and will not be considered for selection or permitted to train with the rest of the squad until he addresses his conditioning.

“He’s not injured, he arrived (back) overweight,” Guardiola said.

Phillips made two substitute appearances for England during the tournament, in the 3-0 wins against Wales and Senegal, totalling 40 minutes. Prior to the World Cup, he had played just 54 minutes of football for City this season owing to injury problems and now faces a fresh setback in his protracted battle to establish himself in the wake of his £45 million summer move from Leeds United.

Guardiola said he did not know why Phillips had returned in an unacceptable condition but the player now seems set to miss Wednesday’s Premier League clash against his former club Leeds.

John Stones, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish all appeared as second half substitutes against Liverpool while Kyle Walker was an unused substitute.

“I don’t know [why he returned overweight],” the City manager added. “He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.”

Guardiola dismissed any notion that England were responsible. “No, no, no, no. Absolutely [not].

“When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot.”

Asked if he was disappointed in Phillips, Guardiola added: “It’s a private conversation with Kalvin.”

Guardiola imposed strict conditions around players’ weight and conditioning as soon as he arrived at City in 2016.

Samir Nasri, the former City midfielder, was initially not permitted to train with the rest of the squad in that first summer under Guardiola after reporting back for pre-season overweight.  

Leave a Comment