Gael Clichy has revealed the brutal way in which Pep Guardiola signalled the end of his career at Manchester City following the Spaniard’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2016.
The full back spent six seasons with City following his move from Arsenal before departing for İstanbul Başakşehir last year after just one year working alongside Guardiola – who informed the 32-year-old that his career was all but over just days into his reign.
Despite having made over 150 appearances for City prior to Guardiola’s arrival, the Spanish boss was quick to get to the point with the players he inherited from Manuel Pellegrini.
“Your career is behind you now,” Guardiola told Clichy, the 32-year-old admitted to the Guardian.
The damning assessment continued: “But you have a duty, every day, every session, every behaviour you have; young players are looking up to you and even if you don’t feel like a special player, you’ve done so many years in England.
“You’ve won trophies, you are somebody and those young players will look up to you and behave like you are behaving.”
Although many players would have shirked the challenge and downed tools, Clichy went on to play 39 times for Guardiola before making his move to Turkey last summer, and upon reflection it was an experience he has savoured.
He added: “I was lucky for the last 12 months to work with Guardiola and often you think of someone being a genius of football; but if someone is close, he is the one.
“I am not saying he’s the best, as other managers have had success with different methods, but he certainly shows you a different way of feeling and seeing football. It was a major shock.”
Clichy’s departure from City ended his 14-year spell in the Premier League as Guardiola made sweeping changes to the club’s fullback ranks as Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker were brought in to replace Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabeta, and Aleksandar Kolarov.