Shaqiri: Guardiola won't tell you why you've been benched!

The Stoke City star has expressed his sympathy for out-of-favour Joe Hart, saying he is the latest victim of the Catalan manager’s unwillingness to explain his selection policy

Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri has criticised Pep Guardiola’s communication with his players, saying he will not explain why somebody has been dropped from the first team.

Manchester City boss Guardiola has come in for criticism for his treatment of Joe Hart, having said he will allow the goalkeeper to leave after he was benched for the opening two competitive games of the season.

Shaqiri played under Guardiola at Bayern Munich but was limited to few first-team opportunities before joining Inter in January 2015.

And ahead of coming up against his old boss when Stoke face the Citizens in the Premier League on Saturday, the Switzerland international admits it can be tough to work under Guardiola given his reluctance to explain his selection policy.

“He is a very good coach in terms of what happens on the pitch but his communication was not so good with me,” Shaqiri told the Daily Mail.

“Guardiola doesn’t talk too much about this [leaving players out]. He doesn’t say to the players why.

“Of course sometimes that’s difficult for a player, especially when you are working well and training well. And especially when he speaks around the media and says ‘He is good, he is good. He is the best player’.

“I see Hart on the bench. I don’t know the real problem but in every club there will be new problems. New coaches and new staff want to work with new players. Maybe they don’t like this player. This is what happens at all clubs. Look at Manchester United with [Bastian] Schweinsteiger.”


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Shaqiri would nonetheless like to see Guardiola enjoy success with City but feels he faces a real battle to win the Premier League title.

“In the end we won the title [at Bayern] and I hope he can do it here with Man City, but it’s a different league and a different team and this will be the hardest year ever in his career,” he said. “You saw against Sunderland how difficult it will be for him.

“This league is more crazy than ever. The best players and the best coaches are all here now. It’s amazing. This is a very tough league and we will see what happens for him.”

Shaqiri was a standout performer when Stoke beat City 2-0 last season, setting up both goals for team-mate Marko Arnautovic.

And the 24-year-old says he is determined to repay the faith shown in him by manager Mark Hughes, who signed him from Inter for £12.5million last year in what was then a record deal for the club.

“When I arrived at Milan there were thousands of fans at the airport,” Shaqiri added. “When I arrived in England there were no fans but the coach came to pick me up himself. It had never happened before and it was great.

“That meant that the club were prepared to do everything for me. When a coach gives you something, it’s important to give something back to him on the pitch.

“I want to be better every day and do my best for him. I am not his best friend. We don’t go for dinner or anything. But I do my work on the pitch for him. That is why he wanted to bring me here.”