Soccer-Criticism of managers in England not as bad as in Spain, says Guardiola

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Newcastle United - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - December 26, 2020 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce Pool via REUTERS/Dave Thompson

(Reuters) - The constant criticism that managers endure is worse in Spain than in England, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said on Friday in the wake of Steve Bruce's statement following his sacking by Newcastle United.

Bruce, who was the target of fans' ire since replacing the popular Rafa Benitez in 2019, left Newcastle by mutual consent on Wednesday, saying it was probably his last managerial role after dealing with abuse and criticism from day one in the job.

"No (it is not worse than Spain and Germany), here it is nicer. In Spain there are more radios, televisions," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

"You're treated in terms of results. When you win, 'what a genius'. When you lose, 'what a disaster'. Especially with social media, in Spain they are more involved, there are journalists at training sessions, it's the same but more intense.

"As managers, we are treated worse than the worst. That is sometimes a reflection of society. Nobody deserves to be treated like that."

Guardiola also sent Bruce his support, saying the 60-year-old should not listen to the criticism levelled at him but instead take heart from the messages of support he received from his players.

"I read the post on Twitter from (Allan) Saint-Maximin about what Steve Bruce is. This is, for me, what Bruce is - an exceptional gentleman, always took care of me so nicely when I came from another country," Guardiola added.

"I wish him all the best. I would tell him not to pay much attention to the comments because he knows that is bullshit."

Fourth-placed Brighton beat City 3-2 at the end of last season after Guardiola's side had already sealed the title but the Spaniard said they were not out for revenge.

"I know exactly the game we're going to face and the players know. Absolutely not (playing with revenge on their minds), in football you win and lose," he said.

"I enjoy watching Brighton, it's an exceptional team... Last season we were champions, we were preparing for Champions League final, this season we're fighting to be champions. I think they are the same."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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