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Melania Trump Doesn’t Deserve Your Sympathy

US Social 25th January 2017

 

Image via AP.

A few hours after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, a photograph circulated of Melania Trump sitting next to husband at a luncheon, eyes down and face unsmiling. The photograph went viral, often accompanied on social media with the expression, “I feel sorry for Melania Trump.”

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It was just one of many pieces of evidence that Melania Trump deserves sympathy; that she is unhappy, that her husband treats her poorly or, more hopefully, that she hates her husband. In addition to the photograph, other evidence was offered: a video of the couple dancing at the inaugural ball and a side-by-side comparison of former President Obama accompanying Michelle during the 2009 White House transition. Obama is thoughtful, he waits for Michelle before he walks up the steps of their new home to greet then-President George W. Bush. In contrast, Donald Trump greets the Obamas without his wife and she hurries to make her way up the stairs alone, accompanied into the house by the Obamas who are more considerate—more respectful—than her own husband.

The images, particularly the comparison to President Obama, reinforce a narrative that is easy enough to believe (likely because it’s true): that Obama is a better man than Trump and thus treats women accordingly. The Obamas, in turn, express their sympathy for Melania, a poor woman married to a tyrant, by showing their graciousness, a hallmark of the Obama White House, actions that speak volumes about their humanity and morality. Here, Melania is a victim of her husband’s brutishness; she is passive and silent, has no political opinions but instead is a sort of tabula rasa for America’s women, on which her treatment is proof of President Trump’s innate misogyny. President Trump’s casual misuse of his wife is a domestic tragedy with national implications. But that narrative only works if, in fact, you believe that Melania is a blank slate or, at least, a woman simply acted on rather than a woman actively collaborating with her husband’s ideologies.

If the past is any indication, Melania is no passive victim. Recently a 2011 interview with Melania on the Joy Behar Show went viral on Twitter. In the interview, Melania defends her husband’s adamant commitment to the birther conspiracy born of the Tea Party—his belief that President Obama is not an American citizen, that he was born in Kenya and that his Hawaii-issued birth certificate was, in fact, a forgery. “Do you want to see President Obama’s birth certificate or not?” Melania asks Behar. “I’ve seen it,” Behar responds. “It’s not a birth certificate,” Melania says as she shakes her head. Here, Melania recites her husband’s conspiratorial and fictitious claims, ones Donald Trump repeated for five years until, in September 2016, he “conceded” that they were untrue. Melania has never indicated whether or not she agrees with that concession.

But Melania has always been willing to defend her husband and to employ tactics that typify the Trump approach to the world. After journalist Julia Ioffe published a profile of Melania in GQ, Melania denounced the piece, calling it “yet another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting.” When Ioffe received a barrage of anti-Semitic messages and threats, Melania said, that Ioffe “provoked them.” Later, Melania almost trollishly announced that, as First Lady, she would launch a campaign to prevent bullying on the internet, denouncing social media’s “mean and rough” culture.

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Social media aside, she’s proven that she’s a willing scribe of the Trump hagiography. In October, Melania sat down with CNN to defend her husband after a leaked tape caught her husband bragging about sexually assaulting women. She called his language “boy talk” and blamed the tape’s release on the conspiratorial “left-wing media.” When asked about the sizable number of women who have accused her husband of sexual assault, she demonstrated that she was no listless vessel, but in full possession of autonomy: “I know he respects women but he is defending himself because they are all lies,” she told CNN.

Like Ivanka Trump, whose brand and subsequent media narratives have worked to distance her from her father’s repugnant ideologies from racist birtherism to sexual assault, Melania is no innocent. She’s willing to vocally defend her husband—not only to stand next to him for the sake of political spectacle or personal gain, but to do the obligatory media tours and, like her step-daughter, insist that he respects women.

Melania Trump is hardly a stand-in for American women, she is neither a victim nor is she lacking agency. Rather she’s an active participant working to construct Donald Trump’s narrative, readily available to put a gauzy domestic veil on his racism and misogyny. Melania Trump doesn’t deserve your sympathy.

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Which way Nigeria?

Naija Social 24th January 2017

IS IT ABOUT TIME WE WENT OUR SEPARATE WAYS?

In a multi-ethnic society like Nigeria, coexistence, and not conquest, is a sacred code of social cohesion. The ongoing resource and environmental tension represented by the clash between herders and crop farmers has embedded religious significance.

With the Fulani herdsmen continuing to kill southerners (their fellow citizens) in order to protect their cattle – killing human beings to preserve the lives of animals – and the conflict not appearing to go away anytime soon, we ask:

Are we all just going to sit back and watch without doing anything about this problem?

From Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper:

Rachel Amida*, a 52-year-old farmer in Adamawa state, north-eastern Nigeria, points to a small heap of maize laid on the ground just outside her home. “If it wasn’t for the herdsmen we would have had much more,” she says. “It is making it harder to survive when we are harvesting only a portion of what we sowed.”

On both sides of the Yola-Gombe road that runs through Adamawa’s vast countryside, small groups of herdsmen lead scores of cattle through the fields to feed.

The herders, mostly northern Fulani, are sometimes young children. Tiny figures beneath their large, wide-brimmed hats, they carry bows and arrows as they shuttle their cattle south in the heat. Yet their novel appearance belies a deadly crisis that, in the past few years, has spiralled out of control.

On 3 November, near Amida’s home in a village in Demsa district, two people were killed by Fulani herdsmen. “I now have to send my son to my plot to till the land,” she says. “Before we thrashed the crops outside, but now we do them in here. It’s more dangerous there now.”

Farmers have accused the herdsmen of trespassing on their farmland to graze their cattle, destroying their crops.

The Fulani herdsmen have always ventured in search of land on which to feed their cattle; some are semi-nomadic, rooted in communities across Nigeria, while others travel along courses leading from Niger and Chad to Nigeria. But the combined effect of competition for land and droughts has made their search increasingly desperate.

Reprisal attacks and provocations exist on both sides. Cattle are sometimes stolen from herdsmen by criminal groups and communities often attack the herdsmen, assuming them to be a threat. But the conflict has been deadly for farming communities.

In August, more than 30 people were killed when herdsmen attacked villages in Demsa. In the three months prior to this, another 50 people were killed in escalating attacks that led to crisis meetings involving the governor of the state and local rulers.

The perennial conflict, for years confined mainly to “middle-belt” states, has now spread around the country, with mass killings increasingly reported in southern states over the past year.

In Plateau state, where such conflict has a long history, some locals feel the attacks are part of an effort to get farming communities to leave their land, allowing the herdsmen to settle without competition for resources.

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“That’s why they attack villages – they don’t just attack because of quarrels with villagers,” said a farmer who did not want to be named. “They burn homes and farms so that we will have to start again somewhere else. But we can’t, and will not leave because this is our land.”

The federal government’s response to the crisis has been widely criticised by the Nigerian press as inadequate. Increasingly, the killings have been viewed as motivated along religious and ethnic lines. President Muhammadu Buhari’s ethnicity – he is a Fulani Muslim – has fed accusations that the government is reluctant to confront a group it has sympathies with.

But according to Sola Tayo, a Nigerian specialist at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, the crisis is more complicated. “I think this series of conflicts is multifaceted,” she explains. “The mistake is to reduce it to a simple clash of ethnicities or religions.

“There seems to be little appetite to address some of these historic grievances concerning grazing at a national level in government. Most of the discussion seems to be taking place at state level with some governors more keen to engage with farmers and herders to try and seek some sort of workable solution, while others are adopting a more hostile approach through tightening restrictions on nomadic herding practices.”

A plan by the federal government to allocate grazing reserves was rejected by Nigeria’s parliament. In opposition to the government’s position, some states such as Ekiti and Abia are passing legislation to allow them to limit the herdsmen’s activities, and prosecute those who graze on private land. In Kaduna, the state government has admitted to having paid compensation to aggrieved herdsmen to stop further killings.

* Name changed to protect identity

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John Mikel Obi shakes hands on Tianjin TEDA deal as former Chelsea midfielder becomes latest star to join Chinese Super League

Sports News 6th January 2017

  • Former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi is the latest star to move to China
  • Mikel is set to earn £140,000 a week playing in the Chinese Super League 
  • 29-year-old signs for Tianjin TEDA after losing place in Chelsea’s first team
  • Mikel won the Champions League and two Premier Leagues with Chelsea

John Mikel Obi has become the latest ex-Premier League star to move to the Chinese Super League after his transfer to Tianjin TEDA was confirmed on social media.

A picture was shared on Chinese website Webo of former Chelsea midfielder Mikel shaking hands with a Tianjin club official and holding the club’s shirt.

Mikel, who had been frozen out of Chelsea’s first team this season with N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Nathaniel Chalobah and Cesc Fabregas ahead in the pecking roder, will reportedly earn £140,000 a week.

The 29-year-old underwent a medical on Thursday as he prepared to become the second player to swap West London for the Far East, following Oscar who has signed for Shanghai SIPG.

The Nigerian international had held talks with Valencia, while Marseille and Inter Milan also showed interest.

Mikel spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge after controversially joining Chelsea, despite appearing at a Manchester United press conference and posing with a United shirt with his name on it.

He is understood to have signed a three-year deal, after a successful spell in England, winning the Champions League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups.

He played in pre-season with Chelsea last summer but then left the squad to win an Olympic bronze medal with Nigeria in Rio and has not found a way back into Conte’s plans since.

Mikel (centre left) celebrates winning the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012

Mikel (centre left) celebrates winning the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012

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Everton sign Ademola Lookman from Charlton in £10m deal as manager Ronald Koeman predicts a big future for the teenager at Goodison Park

Sports News 6th January 2017

  • Everton have completed the signing of Charlton’s Ademola Lookman for £10m
  • The wide player has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park
  • Ronald Koeman is keen for Lookman to be involved with the Everton first team 
  • Lookman’s is the most expensive player ever signed from a League One club

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has welcomed the arrival of teenage forward Ademola Lookman to his first-team squad.

The £10million signing from Charlton was the subject of a Secret Scout report in Sportsmail last January and Koeman said: ‘Lookman is a player for the future. We will see how long it takes when he gets a chance.

‘He is 19 and we expect a lot from the boy.’

Everton have completed the signing of winger Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic

Lookman, who made 49 appearances for Charlton after coming through the club’s youth set-up, has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract which will keep him at Goodison Park until the summer of 2021.

Charlton had been keen for Lookman to remain at The Valley on loan for the rest of the season, but Everton boss Ronald Koeman wants his new recruit to be involved with his first team squad.

The Toffees saw off interest from Crystal Palace to secure a deal for Lookman, which makes him the most expensive player ever signed from a League One club, ahead of Fabian Delph and Nick Powell.

Lookman is delighted to have made the move and believes working under Koeman is exactly what he needs to further his career as he makes the step up to the Premier League.

He said: ‘It feels great to be an Everton player. As soon as I heard about Everton’s interest I knew this would be the right place for me. Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager.

‘When you look at what he did at Southampton, and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction.

‘It was great playing in the Championship last season and for the last six months in League One but I feel like I’m ready to make the step up to the Premier League.’

Lookman scored seven times in 25 appearances for Charlton this season, with Koeman excited to have the talented youngster at his disposal.

The Dutchman said: ‘Ademola is a big talent and, at 19 years old, he has a big future in the game. I’m really happy that we’ve been able to bring him here to the club.

‘This is part of the vision we have for the club and it’s important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve.

‘We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the club.’

Koeman also confirmed striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin would be out for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury and is hoping for more signings, including Manchester United duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay.

‘We know the players we want and it is up to the board to make the deals,’ he said.

Lookman, who prefers to be known as ‘Mola’, will wear the No 31 shirt at Goodison. He will not be available to make his debut against Leicester in the FA Cup, though, given he is cup tied after playing for Charlton earlier in this year’s competition.

Despite the fact this is his first full season as a professional, Lookman has carved out quite a reputation for himself in such a short space of time.

Arsenal and Crystal Palace have both watched the exciting 19-year-old forward on a regular basis since his breakthrough into the Charlton first-team. Palace made a big play for him in the summer but couldn’t agree a deal.

So, six months later, Everton are the beneficiaries. Quite a coup for the Toffees.

So quite a rapid rise to fame then?

Absolutely. Particularly considering he’s not been involved within the academy system since an early age.

He only joined the Charlton youth set-up in 2014, joining from south London-based amateur side Waterloo FC. But an impressive goal record for the Addicks’ Under 18 and U21 sides saw him make a meteoric rise into the senior set-up.

He made his first-team bow, as an 18-year-old, against MK Dons in November last year. His first goal arrived in a 3-2 defeat at Brighton a month later. Lookman hasn’t looked back since.

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A guaranteed ticket to take Arsenal to new heights! Gunners unveil incredible new club plane to fly stars around world in trophy hunt

Sports News 5th January 2017

  • Arsenal drew Bayern Munich in this season’s Champions League round of 16 and will take their new plane
  • The club now have a new Emirates Airbus A380 to fly to away matches – the airline sponsors the club
  • Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are among players featured on the side of the airliner
  • Aircraft boasts a shower, beds for all the players and a fully functioning bar where they can relax

Arsenal fans may have been looking for on-field recruitments in January, but instead their first arrival is slightly different… a new plane for away games!

The club took to Instagram on Thursday to reveal their new transport for Champions League ties, a huge Emirates Airbus A380 with players plastered across the side.

Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla all make the cut, with huge images of them behind the wing.

Arsenal revealed their incredible new Emirates Airbus A380 plane on Instagram on Thursday
The plane boasts a fully functioning bar for relaxation during trips and seating area for the players' flights to games

The plane boasts a fully functioning bar for relaxation during trips and seating area for the players’ flights to games

The Gunners will be hoping their new aircraft can propel them to victory, when they take to the skies for their first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie at Bayern.

The players will fly from London to Munich in their new Airbus A380 in February, which includes an on-board shower and a fully-functioning bar.

Before they board the flight to Munich, Arsenal have the small matter of a Premier League campaign to concern themselves with.

Tottenham’s win over Chelsea on Wednesday night dropped the Gunners to fifth, and they face Swansea, Burnley and Watford next in an attempt to infiltrate the top four once more.

This weekend, though, is reserved for the FA Cup, and Arsenal face a trip to Lancashire and Preston North End in the third round.

Speaking ahead of the game on Thursday, manager Arsene Wenger revealed that striker Danny Welbeck could make a much-anticipated return to action.

‘I haven’t decided yet, but he could be [in line to play at Preston],’ he told reporters. It depends on Lucas a little bit, it also depends on how he feels.

‘Physically his fitness is at quite a good level, but of course the ideal way is to give him two or three games with the Under 23s. But the situation is not always ideal, sometimes you have to hurry up.’

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Danny Welbeck could make his return against Preston

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba can become the world’s best player, claims Ander Herrera

Sports News 2nd January 2017

  • Paul Pogba has started to show glimpses of his best form at Manchester United
  • The 23-year-old scored the winning goal against Middlesbrough on Saturday
  • Herrera says the Frenchman has everything needed to become the world’s best
  • Jose Mourinho’s side travel to face West Ham in the Premier League on Monday 

Ander Herrera believes Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba possesses all the attributes needed to become the world’s best player.

After overcoming a shaky start to life back at Old Trafford, Pogba has started to show glimpses of the form which convinced the Red Devils to splash out a world-record fee of £89million to re-sign him from Juventus last summer.

The 23-year-old France international scored a late winner against Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve and Herrera, who has enjoyed his own resurgence in form in recent weeks, claims there is still much more to come from Pogba.

‘Pogba is a midfielder who has all the qualities,’ Herrera told Sky Sports.

‘When you are a midfielder you normally have some special qualities but he has everything.

‘He can shoot, head and defend and he can dribble one-v-one, but he’s still 23.

Herrera believes Pogba possesses all the attributes needed to become the world’s best player

‘He’s now in a very good moment but we can be optimistic with him because he can be even better.

‘He can be one of the best in the world and he wants to do it. He wants to be it.’

Victory over Middlesbrough extended United’s winning run to six matches and Jose Mourinho’s side have not lost a game since their 2-1 defeat by Fenerbahce on November 3.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have led the way for the Red Devils in recent weeks and Herrera was quick to praise the two summer signings.

The 23-year-old Frenchman scored a late winner against Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve

‘The thing that I like most about Zlatan is he is not happy enough,’ Herrera said.

‘That means how ambitious he is. How much he wants to achieve for this club. He’s 35 and still training like a kid every day.

‘The fans and the club and the staff have been patient with [Mkhitaryan], that’s what I like with this club.

Manchester United travel to face West Ham in the Premier League on Monday afternoon

Manchester United travel to face West Ham in the Premier League on Monday afternoon

‘They knew how good he is but football is not always the case that in your first season you will perform at your best. You have to settle down in one place, adapt yourself to a new life and club, to a new role.

‘Now we are seeing the best Mkhitaryan. Or almost the best, because I think he can be even better.’

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Eva Longoria to host FIFA Football Awards as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann battle it out for Best Men’s Player trophy

Sports News 2nd January 2017

  • FIFA’s annual Football Awards ceremony takes place in Zurich next week 
  • Eva Longoria will host the event, alongside German presenter Marco Schreyl 
  • Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo all up for men’s player
  • Winner of best women’s player and goal of the year will also be announced

Eva Longoria and German TV presenter Marco Schreyl have been named as the hosts of FIFA’s Football Awards ceremony on January 9.

The pair will take to the stage in Zurich, Switzerland next week as the winner of FIFA’s Best Men’s Player is announced.

Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the three finalists, and one will receive the award from the presenters next Monday.

Eva Longoria is set to host the FIFA Football Awards alongside Marco Schreyl next week

Eva Longoria is set to host the FIFA Football Awards alongside Marco Schreyl next week

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in December and is favourite to win this award too

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or in December and is favourite to win this award too.

Longoria is best known for her work as an actress, most famously in Desperate Housewives from 2004 to 2012.

The Texas-born 41-year-old has been nominated for a Golden Globe, and is also now a director and producer.

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Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi considering Valencia move after talks over Spain switch on Christmas Day

Sports News 2nd January 2017

  • Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi held talks with Valencia on Christmas Day
  • Sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch says he put forward proposal to player
  • Mikel hasn’t played for Chelsea this season and is out of contract in the summer

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi is mulling over a move to Valencia after holding Christmas Day talks with the Spanish club.

Mikel, 29, is an outcast at Stamford Bridge having failed to make an appearance this season and with his contract expiring in the summer.

The Nigeria international is free to talk to foreign clubs about a summer move and Chelsea allowed him to discuss a January exit with Valencia, who are believed to be offering a potential four-year deal.

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has held talks with Valencia over a move to La Liga

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has held talks with Valencia over a move to La Liga

Mikel poses with girlfriend Olga Diyachenko, around the time he held talks with Valencia

Mikel poses with girlfriend Olga Diyachenko, around the time he held talks with Valencia

Valencia sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch has revealed he met with Mikel to put forward a proposal a little over a week ago.

But manager Cesare Prandelli’s decision to quit the Spanish club after just 10 games since that meeting could throw a spanner into the works.

‘In the case of Obi Mikel, with Chelsea’s permission, I met with him in London on Christmas Day,’ Pitarch told Spanish outlet Superdeporte.

‘I informed him of the option [of joining Valencia]. He said he would think about it.’

Prandelli left Valencia on Saturday after growing frustrated with their lack of ambition in the transfer market.

Mikel, a veteran of 11 season as Stamford Bridge since joining from Lyn Oslo in 2006, has also fielded interest from Marseille.

The defensive midfielder would have preferred to stay at Chelsea but accepts that he may have to move on, with Mikel placed some way down Antonio Conte’s pecking order.

The Italian manager signed N’Golo Kante this summer and Nathaniel Chalobah is also now ahead of Mikel in his thinking after returning from a series of loan spells.

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Oscar’s £52m move to China means Chelsea have made a huge £314m from mastering player sales and the transfer market since June 2013

Sports News 2nd January 2017

  • Oscar is set to make a £52m move to Shanghai SIPG when the window opens
  • Chelsea managed to make a profit from selling David Luiz and buying him back
  • The club have also succeeded in boosting player value by loaning them out 

Just 10 years ago, Chelsea were known for their lavish outlay under owner Roman Abramovich, but in the last three years they have become the masters of the other side of the transfer market.

The potential sale of Oscar to Shanghai SIPG for £52million has caught the eye, but it only speaks for the way Chelsea have succeeded when selling players since June 2013.

After that date Chelsea have made a staggering £314.4m from player sales, more than any other side in the Premier League.

Oscar is set to make a £52million move to Chinese side Shanghai SIPG in January

Oscar’s move to China is just one example of how the Stamford Bridge club have managed to eke more value out of certain players than might otherwise have been expected.

After all, there was the same level of incredulity when Ramires moved to Jiangsu Suning last January, and the deal for that Brazilian midfielder was only worth £25m.

Chelsea’s expertise in the loan market – they increase the value of players who are not ready for their first-team by sending them temporarily to other sides – has also paid off over the last three years.

One standout example is the way that Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to Everton came together. He spent a season with West Brom before a campaign at Goodison Park.

By the time the summer rolled around, he had become so integral to the Toffees that they were willing to break their transfer record and spend £28m on the Belgian striker.

Prior to Oscar’s potential sale, the most Chelsea had taken from a single departure from Stamford Bridge came from David Luiz’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian defender cost PSG £50m when they signed him in June 2014 – a move that was questioned at the time and seems even more incredible given Chelsea brought him back at a profit on deadline day this year. 10

Chelsea also managed to wring £37.1m out of Manchester United for Juan Mata when they sold him in 2014. While he has gone on to be a success for the Old Trafford side, Mata took a number of years to settle and really make an impact in red.

There have been costly mistakes. Kevin De Bruyne moved to Wolfsburg for just £16.5m only to move to Manchester City for £52m a year and a half later.

The club also lost money on selling Filipe Luis back to Atletico Madrid a season after they signed him.

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Pep Guardiola blows his top as the Manchester City manager finally lets his mask slip after defeat by Liverpool

Sports News 2nd January 2017

  • Manchester City lost 1-0 at Liverpool after a meek display on New Year’s Eve
  • The loss leaves Pep Guardiola’s side fifth, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea
  • In the post match interviews, Guardiola was his usual calm and collected self
  • But he was later seen engaging in an animated discussion with Txiki Begiristain

There was a warm embrace between Guardiola and Klopp when they met on the touchline

He had been the same at half-time, raging that his plan was not being executed, after Georginio Wijnaldum had given Liverpool a lead that they never relinquished.

In front of the cameras, it was business as usual. Pep Guardiola rattled out a succession of non-committal answers, searched for the positives and kept his game face on.

This was a damaging defeat which, after Tottenham and Arsenal won on Sunday, saw Manchester City drop out of the top four.

But Guardiola would not allow anyone to see how much Saturday’s loss to Liverpool had hurt. He conceded that his team had been below par but that was about it.

Away from the microphones, though, the mask slipped. An hour after the final whistle, standing outside City’s dressing room there was a revealing insight into Guardiola’s state of mind as he engaged in a deep conversation with Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football.

He paced back and forth and loosened his tie. He gesticulated and drove his fist into his hand. His arms were outstretched and his eyes blazed as he tried to fathom why City were so meek.

As Guardiola ran his hand over his head, exasperation seeping out of him, Begiristain could only listen.

By the time he marched towards the team bus, Guardiola had gathered his poise but this animated snapshot was no isolated incident.

‘The manager was angry at half-time,’ Yaya Toure revealed. ‘When you are losing and Liverpool are the better side — and when you are losing like that — then it’s not going to be happy at half-time. It was disappointing and we all felt that.

‘Of course he is going to be angry. He is a manager who can be angry. We have to sometimes improve and react to situations. We knew Liverpool would be waiting when we lost the ball and they did that to score. So he was angry for everything that was happening.

‘We are not going to be perfect. There are times when we won’t take opportunities but we can take opportunities from this too. Anfield is not easy, but we can learn from this and what the manager says.’

Toure kept his counsel about what Guardiola said to his squad in the aftermath but you can be sure there were no platitudes.

Kevin De Bruyne, for example, was anonymous, David Silva was invisible. Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, meanwhile, looked like men returning from four-match bans.

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