Pep Guardiola thinks the referee in his team’s meeting with Newcastle will be on the look-out for time wasting this weekend – from his own goalkeeper Ederson.
Eddie Howe’s side have earned a reputation this season for the dark arts of “game management,” including wasting time through keeper Nick Pope and a variety of other stoppages.
Manchester City face Newcastle at the Etihad on Saturday and Guardiola stopped short of joining the clamour complaining about the Geordies.
But the City manager, still fuming that his Brazilian keeper earned a yellow for time wasting in the recent win at Arsenal, sarcastically suggested that he expects his own players to be punished.
“If it’s a waste of time, we will have a yellow card for Ederson, don’t worry,” he said.
“We are the team with the least wasting of time in my career and the first time we go to Arsenal away, and after 35, 37 minutes we got a yellow card so don’t worry about wasting time.
“I was not paying attention to that. I’m paying more attention to what we have to do to beat them.
“It depends on the referee but I’m pretty sure the yellow will be for Ederson. How many thousand million games do teams come to Etihad stadium and waste time from the keepers?
“Twenty seconds every time; the goal kicks and long ball and long ball and long ball – nothing happens. Absolutely nothing happens.
“And after we go there, we want to be active to play and we get a yellow card. And that is why I’m far away about making comments about the referees because I don’t care one second. What they do, they can do.”
Guardiola has often claimed he has no desire to enter into dialogue with referees, and even less with the Premier League, who recently charged City with Financial Fair Play irregularities.
“How many times after press conference do I complain about referees or make an appointment?” he said.
“The game is done when it’s done. I don’t even know before the game who the referee is that’s going to whistle, I know when I see their face I know who they are but I don’t talk with them before or after.
“Now we cant talk about the Premier League or whatever. We are busy defending with our lawyers our defence I don’t have time to spend time with that.’
On a happier note, Guardiola is looking forward to the visit to the Etihad later this month of former captain Vincent Kompany, whose Burnley side were draw against City in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
And the current City manager has no doubt he will be welcoming his heir apparent for the tie.
“I said that sooner or later he will be manager here, when, I don’t know,” he said.
“It’s my feeling, maybe I’m wrong, but his work ethic, knowledge, what he’s done, he’s doing really well, knows the club, the environment, what our people need. His destiny is there.”