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'The new Jack Rodwell': Fans irked after Man City boss Pep Guardiola warns 'overweight' Kalvin Phillips

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims England midfielder Kalvin Phillips returned from the Qatar World Cup 2022 'overweight' and indicated he will only play for the defending Premier League champions once he is in the right shape.

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First Published Dec 24, 2022, 2:40 PM IST

In what has irked fans of Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, the defending Premier League champion's boss Pep Guardiola revealed that he is livid with the Englishman for returning from the Qatar World Cup 2022 'overweight'.

The centre midfielder, who has only 94 minutes of competitive football under his belt this year owing to injury, was not part of City's squad for their 3-2 victory over Liverpool on Thursday night.

When the English and Portuguese athletes in Qatar returned for club duty on Wednesday, Phillips was instructed not to practise with his colleagues.

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"He's not injured - he arrived overweight," Guardiola said. "I don't know [why]. He didn't arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play."

Before the start of the domestic season, those who had been on active duty overseas were given extra time off. Phillips joined the team last summer after leaving Leeds United for 42 million pounds, but he has only played in four games. Since then, he has suffered from two dislocated shoulders.

He made two substitute appearances for England during the World Cup, but he must now work to earn Guardiola's respect when City go to Elland Road to play his old team on Wednesday.

The City manager claimed they needed to rely on Phillips because he would relieve the pressure on first-choice defensive midfielder Rodri during the holiday season and into January.

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"When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot," Guardiola added. "It's a private conversation with Kalvin."

Guardiola's comments have irked Phillips' fans, with some stating that the midfielder should have stayed at Leeds United. A few also mentioned that he is City's next 'Jack Rodwell', once pegged to be Premier League's brightest star.

Here's a look at how some fans reaction to Guardiola's comment of Kalvin Phillips returning 'overweight' from Qatar:

Who is Jack Rodwell, and what happened to him in Premier League?

Rodwell, born on March 11th, 1991, was a promising young player who graduated from the Everton youth programme. In February 2010 against Manchester United, Rodwell scored his first Premier League goal, capping a solid individual run that helped the Toffees win 3-1.

He received three caps for the national team after making his England debut in a 1-0 victory against Spain in 2011. In 2012, Rodwell committed to Manchester City on a 12 million pound signing bonus.

Despite his potential, he only had a small number of opportunities, making only 25 appearances and scoring twice for the team. However, Rodwell played five times for City in the 2013–14 Premier League, winning him a championship medal.

When Rodwell left his previous club in 2014 to join Sunderland for an undisclosed sum, he criticised them, saying that young English players should think twice before joining them.

At the Wearside club, he played much more frequently for the first team, but he could not prevent their relegation to the Championship that year. 

In the following months, Rodwell struggled to play for the first team after receiving criticism from the club's supporters for refusing to accept a pay reduction after moving down a division.

After Sunderland was demoted for a second straight season in June 2018, he was released from his contract and signed a one-year agreement with Blackburn.

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Rodwell made 22 appearances for the Lancashire club before declining a new deal and departing in 2019. He then underwent a physical and trial with Roma, but the Italian team decided not to sign him.

After a fruitless stint at Sheffield United, where the midfielder appeared just twice in a season and a half, he quit the English game. Following his impressive performance in the U21 squad, he played three times for England. His last appearance was in 2013.

In November 2021, Jack Rodwell relocated to Australia and signed a contract with Western Sydney Wanderers of the A-league. He had a productive season, making 14 games, scoring three goals, and was named captain of the A-league all-star team versus Barcelona.

Then, in August 2022, Rodwell signed a two-year free transfer contract with rival Sydney FC.

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