Pep Guardiola wants Kyle Walker and everyone at Manchester City to act like adults, but has insisted he shouldn’t control their off-duty affairs like a strict father.
The city manager has made no public judgment about Walker’s behavior at the bar, which has generated negative headlines this week, other than to say it was decided internally.
The England international was shown in CCTV footage released by The Sun with friends at a location where he had apparently dropped his pants.
The newspaper claimed that Walker indecently exposed himself, and the incident reportedly took place last Sunday. The Cheshire Police are investigating the case.
Guardiola said Walker could count on his support after a week in the spotlight and stressed he was available for Saturday’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace.
“We have to adapt to reality,” Guardiola said at a press conference. “Everyone knows this, and today they set 24 hours for everything. Privacy no longer exists outside their home.”
@kylewalker2 #mancity pic.twitter.com/yqiZxoakL0
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 14, 2022
Guardiola was asked if he had summoned Walker to remind him of his duties.
The 32-year-old defender is one of City’s most senior players and this isn’t his first off-pitch controversy. He was accused of violating the lockdown in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the City vague about his first alleged violation when he is said to have hosted a party at his house.
Guardiola said of the latest incident: “I spoke to him, but we are adults. I am not a father. I’m his friend. I know a lot has happened in the past. He and everyone can count on me in personal matters.
“I don’t need to tell him that you don’t have to act this way. He is an adult. The club is always there. I like to feel that they can count on us in both good and bad times.”
Guardiola stressed: “Everyone knows that the only place I consider safe is home, lock the door. The moment you open the door, you are in danger.
“Today, everything is completely different from 15, 20 years ago. Now we have to adapt, the players know that.”