Pep Guardiola Says Nicolas Otamendi ‘Not Happy’ with Lack of Game Time | Bleacher Report
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It is quite clear he is no longer first choice at centre-back, with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte Guardiola‘s go-to pairing in the centre of defence. Vincent Kompany is also a competitor when he is fit.
“He’s not happy. I don’t have an answer. When he plays he’s happy, when he doesn’t play he’s not happy. But it’s not just Otamendi, [it’s] everybody. All of them. I don’t know what I can do but be honest with myself and with them.
“Of course when he doesn’t play he’s not happy. In the end with Nico, I know we can count on him at any time in any situation because he’s an incredible professional and always he’s ready. I’m delighted with him. But I can understand him [wanting to play more]. I cannot say anything else.“
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Otamendi did start in City’s Premier League clash against Huddersfield Town on Sunday, which they won 3-0.
But previous to that he had started just one of City’s last five games in the English top flight, when he was taken off after 50 minutes in the 3-2 defeat of Crystal Palace on December 22.
But that is, more often than not, an indication of being down the pecking order, as most top clubs rotate their squads when they are not competing in the league or Champions League.
As such, Otamendi could well be back in action soon as City face Burton again in the League Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday, before Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round clash against Burnley.