Pep Guardiola has admitted he and other Premier League managers need to brush up on their touchline behaviour after a rule change clamping down on dissent.
Guardiola had to watch Manchester City’s shock defeat at Wolves on Saturday from the directors’ box after accumulating three yellow cards this season: the new threshold for managers to serve a one-match touchline ban as the league attempts to deter abuse towards officials.
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The Fulham manager, Marco Silva, has also served a one-match ban after picking up three cautions this season and Guardiola said he must adapt to ensure he does not spend more games in the stands.
Guardiola said he was grateful that Premier League rules still allowed him to watch the match from the stadium. Eight bookings will trigger a two-match suspension for managers, while 16 bookings will lead to a Football Association misconduct hearing.
City sorely missed Rodri, with the midfielder serving the second game of a three-match suspension after receiving a straight red card against Nottingham Forest. “It’s worse that players don’t play than [for] me,” Guardiola said.
“It’s not a big issue. When I was a player at Barcelona I was the least physical player ever but maybe I was one of the most booked players in Barcelona, because I always talk and talk [at the officials]. Now as a manager it is the same. I say something if I think it’s an injustice or something I don’t like … I have to control it.
“In the stands it is impossible to get a yellow card, I was so relaxed, I try to analyse what happens. But there [on the touchline] when you see a few things you don’t like then I will say. I’d love to get no cards, I’d like to control [myself] – I will try to do it – but I cannot assure you 100% that I will.”
Guardiola admitted he had a “perfect” view sat alongside City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, and head of player support, Manel Estiarte, but has no intention of swapping the technical area for the directors’ box on a more regular basis. The City manager will return to the dugout at RB Leipzig on Wednesday before City resume league action at Arsenal on Sunday.
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“I like to be with the players, the smell of the grass,” Guardiola said. “Txiki and Manel were so nice but I prefer to be down there. That is why I must not do it again. Next time it’s a two-game ban.”