Erik ten Hag talks the talk as Pep Guardiola walks the walk during the Carson & Grealish Show – The Warm-Up
Manchester City players let their hair down on Monday when celebrating their Premier League title win. Jack Grealish and Scott Carson stole the show, as did a cigar-smoking Pep Guardiola. All the while, Erik ten Hag was addressing reporters in his first Manchester United press conference. Elsewhere, the Kylian Mbappe story continues to giveth.
Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola smokes a cigar as he attends an event for fans with members of the Manchester City football team following an open-top bus parade through Manchester
Straight from the How to win friends and influence people playbook, he shook the hands of the front-row reporters, and then proceeded to address every angle of interest from Ralf Rangnick and Cristiano Ronaldo, to imprinting his style and the words of warning from Louis van Gaal.
Are you looking for more leadership from him as well? To lead the project?
"I will talk first with Ronaldo before I talk with you."
… but ultimately here was a manager who knew that impressive first press conferences mean little if the talking does not translate onto the pitch.
"The current situation is obviously not that good. It's a big challenge," he added to MUTV. "I want to build and construct a team who are battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results.
"Also we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams. We want to entertain. But in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can't play fantastic football, we still have to win."
There is a while before those performances will be dissected, however, and for now he must work out how his new side can challenge this current duopoly in the English game.
Liverpool, runners-up again, are preparing for their third Champions League final in five years, while Premier League specialists City celebrated hard yesterday after a hard-fought title win.
There are a few expletive-laden Scott Carson and Jack Grealish videos we can’t exactly share here, but one of a double-parked Grealish that we can…
… and so all we can say to that is, fair play. He will get stick for his lack of contributions after such a big move, but let Carson off, he’s having fun. Oh, and Jack too. Ignore the £100m fee, that isn’t his fault, and he’s more than earned the chance to let his hair down / flop sideways after a first full season under the demands of a cigar-smoking Pep Guardiola.
Navigating a break-up in which he didn’t even begin seeing them, Kylian Mbappe is fighting fires as he looks to leave the door open for a future move to Real Madrid.
Mbappe has 'lot of respect' for Real Madrid despite turning down move to stay at PSG
“Never over,” PSG’s player-owner told BBC Sport on Monday. “You never know what can happen in the future. I give up to think about the future, I only think about the present and the present is I signed a new contract for three years more at Paris St-Germain.”
That’s a roundabout way of saying he probably would like a move to Real Madrid after all, but if you wouldn’t mind, Mr Perez, he’d like three more seasons at delivering the Champions League to PSG first.
The Paris-born forward with Ronaldo posters on his wall was clearly torn over a decision that sent shockwaves around the French and Spanish capitals, and he made no secret over how late his final decision was – and even told the Telegraph he had talks with Liverpool too!
“It was last week,” he added. “First of all I spoke to the president of Real Madrid because I have a lot of respect for him and the club. I think it was important to say it personally that I wasn't going to go. To be a great player [you have] to be honest and everything was great and good because we have a good relationship.”
IN OTHER NEWS
The Chelsea sale has edged a step closer, or so reports would have us believe. Yes, yes, you want it to be over, don’t we all, but it needed approval from the UK Government, and it would appear Todd Boehly and his consortium are set to get the green light in the next 24 hours.
Sound the how Chelsea could line-up under Boehly alarm!
IN THE CHANNELS HAT-TIP
Shout out to Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin for being so open and honest in an Instagram post that will do even more good than he realises.
“To all the young kings suppressing emotion I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life.”
A Soccer AM fave, and back in our minds after some of the City celebrations. Here’s Stuart McCall a little worse for wear when celebrating Bradford City’s promotion to the Premier League WAY BACK in 1999.
Very light on the football front, so tune into Roland-Garros and the Giro on Eurosport and discovery+. Very much a shameless plug.