Connect with us

Premier League

Kalvin Phillips at Manchester City: More kilos than games



Kalvin Phillips at Manchester City: More kilos than games

Manchester City paid 49 million euros for Kalvin Phillips last summer. Since then, the 27-year-old midfielder has been a permanent reserve player, only making headlines because of weight problems and a dubious honor.

It’s been a little quiet around Manchester City’s permanent reserve Kalvin Phillips lately, but that shouldn’t have bothered him that much. After coach Pep Guardiola revealed the 27-year-old defensive midfielder’s weight problems at the end of December, Phillips endured weeks of taunts from opposition fans.

“Get your tits out for the lads,” chanted Manchester United supporters, for example, which roughly translates to: “Get your tits out for the boys!” Chelsea fans dubbed Phillips somewhat clumsily a “fat bastard”, while on his return to his youth club Leeds United they said: “Kalvin Phillips – he eats what he wants!”

Under coach Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips had once been promoted to international status in Leeds, and was a fixture in Gareth Southgate’s midfield when England stormed into the 2021 European Championship final. The reward for this development: a move to Manchester City last summer. The reigning champions paid 49 million euros for Phillips, after Erling Haaland (60 million euros) he was the second most expensive newcomer of the transfer period.

Since then, Phillips has made two starts, 405 competitive minutes and no scoring point. He has little to do with City’s current run of success. After ten wins in a row, the team recently took the lead from Arsenal in the Premier League. In the FA Cup there is a final against Manchester United, in the Champions League a semi-final against Real Madrid (first leg, Tuesday 9 p.m. in LIVETICKER).

Kalvin Phillips returned from World Cup vacation overweight

Significantly, Phillip’s spell at Manchester began with a setback: he injured his shoulder in a friendly against FC Barcelona in August and required surgery in September. Phillips was fit again just in time for the World Cup in Qatar, but only as a backup player at the tournament.

After losing out in the quarter-finals against France, it was time for vacation from which, according to Guardiola, he came back “overweight”. “I don’t know why. He didn’t come in the right condition to play,” said the coach. “If he is ready, he will play. We need him. We need him very much.”

The difficult situation is “perhaps a good lesson for the future. You can have fun, enjoy, do whatever you want, but you have to be ready because this level is very demanding.” According to Guardiola, Phillips easily accepted the mockery of the opposing fans thanks to his “good sense of humor”.

Kalvin Phillips: Two starts and one sixth place

In mid-January, Guardiola ordered Phillips into the starting eleven for the first time in the League Cup quarter-finals against FC Southampton. City probably showed the worst performance of the season and lost 0:2. Phillips did a little better in his second and last start-up appearance at the end of February, a 3-0 win over second division Bristol City in the FA Cup.

Ironically, on the day of the Bristol game, the Spanish published mark the results of their Gaudi award “The Worst”. As a counterpart to UEFA’s “The Best” award, fans were able to vote for the worst player of the year. Over 100,000 people attended and voted Phillips in sixth place, with Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard “winning” by the way.

Nothing has changed in Phillip’s reserve role since then. “Kalvin still needs a little rhythm in tight spaces. We’re still missing the best Kalvin,” said Guardiola recently. In defensive midfield, the coach relies on Rodri or the trained central defender John Stones. “I’ve been working with John for seven years and with Rodri for four. I don’t have to explain anything to you.”

Phillips, on the other hand, “has to adjust a bit. But that will happen next season.” Is he still there at all? Despite the contract until 2028, the English speculated telegraph already about a possible exit in the summer.