‘Here to stay’ – Pep Guardiola on Newcastle United ‘project’ and ‘surprise’ lack of spending

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been discussing Newcastle United ahead of his side’s visit to St James’s Park this Sunday (4:30pm kick-off).

Guardiola has an impressive record against both Newcastle and the club’s head coach Eddie Howe. In 11 matches against Newcastle, Guardiola’s City side have won nine of them.

The two occasions Man City have dropped points to Newcastle both came at St James’s Park in 2019. A 2-2 draw courtesy of a late Jonjo Shelvey equaliser in November and a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie in January.

Last season, Newcastle were beaten 4-0 and 5-0 by City as they struggled to compete with Guardiola’s side.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe chats with Pep Guardiola before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on December 19, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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“What happened in the past is the past,” Guardiola said. “If you’ve had bad results in the past it means nothing.

"Newcastle is a project not just for one or two seasons. We’ve seen in this window everyone spends a lot. I think they are here to stay here.

“Nobody has the secret to success in world football. Not even City. One of the good things this club has is that we’re aligned with the hierarchy, the way we wanna play and the players we buy. It doesn’t mean that having the same idea means success, for many reasons.”

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On the match, he added: “Newcastle away is always an incredible environment. The fans – it’s one of the best stadiums since I have been here in England. I know how they support the team.”

Newcastle have strengthened over the summer with the signings of Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman for a combined total of around £60million but have since struggled to add further signings despite targeting attacking additions.

And when asked if he was surprised by Newcastle’s lack of spending lately, Guardiola responded: “You don't have to ask me I don't know.

"I have never bought a player, I have never sold a player.

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"It's the club's money. All I know is that when a club spend money then people go crazy and then when they don’t, people ask why haven’t they spent money.

"I think what they have done, Newcastle, is because they believe it's the best. In the winter window they bought players because they were in trouble, then they got a lot of good results.”