Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

You'll Thank Guardiola for His Tough Love, Leroy

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

You'll Thank Guardiola for His Tough Love, Leroy

Article excerpt

ANY good parent can tell you the perils of appearing like you favour one of your kids above another and it can be the same for football managers.

And yet Pep Guardiola's public treatment of two of his brightest young talents could not be more different.

The City manager is positively gushing about Bernardo Silva, repeatedly declaring his love for the Portugal international and this week declaring him to be his national team's biggest star, a bold statement with Cristiano Ronaldo still in the frame.

But when asked about Leroy Sane, Guardiola is more reserved, less effusive and more guarded in his praise.

In the press conference ahead of the Schalke game, Guardiola was asked about both players.

Mention of Bernardo's name had him enthusing about him being the 'biggest star' for Portugal, a 'lovely person', 'the most beloved in the locker room' and 'a joy'.

But when the subject of Sane was brought up, he referred to the young German as 'an incredible player with potential' and twice repeated that 'it depends on him' in terms of how big a player he becomes.

The two men are in direct competition for a place in the team for the Carabao Cup final at Wembley today - and Sane's brilliant cameo at Schalke, when he scored a stunning equaliser, has made that selection a tad harder.

It can be puzzling to an outsider, seeing the affection Guardiola showers on Bernardo, while he can sometimes seem a little distant on the subject of Sane.

But we all saw why Sane gets the tough love and Bernardo the puppy love.

The former Schalke player came off the bench with City trailing at the Veltins Arena and when they won a free-kick close to 30 yards out, Sane staked an immediate claim.

Kevin de Bruyne gave a resigned shrug - he has been ineffective from such set-pieces recently - and Sane stepped up to draw the Blues level in spectacular fashion.

It followed a pattern. …

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