Pep Guardiola's Raheem Sterling criticism due to new deal, says Danny Mills
By Liam Grace
Last Updated: 12/11/18 1:01pm
Pep Guardiola's criticism of Raheem Sterling after the Manchester derby was due to his philosophy of keeping the ball moving and the winger's new deal, says Danny Mills.
City beat United 3-1 on Sunday and there was a seemingly strong instructional discussion between the pair at full-time, with Guardiola visibly saying: "Pass the ball, pass the ball. Don't do that."
Guardiola confirmed in his post-match interview he had been unhappy with his Sterling's decision-making late into the match, performing step-overs in the final seconds while being pursued by Marouane Fellaini and Alexis Sanchez.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, ex-City defender Danny Mills says he believes there are two reasons why Guardiola was frustrated - the way the manager likes to play and the fact Sterling has just signed a new lucrative deal.
He said: "It was different in my day. He might end up in the back of the stands.
"Fellaini doesn't get particularly close to him. Sanchez doesn't really get that close to him. They don't try and take the ball.
"I think there's two things. One, Pep likes to keep the ball moving. That's the way he plays. That's his philosophy.
"Secondly, Sterling has just signed a new contract. Big bumper deal that Pep has been a big part of.
"Is this just a little reminder of - OK, you've got this deal, but don't get too big for your boots just yet?"
Sterling's new contract, which he signed on Friday, will see him remain at the club until 2023.
The England international has registered seven goals and five assists this season.
Sterling joined City from Liverpool in 2015 in a deal worth up to £49m and has since scored 48 goals in 151 appearances for the club.
The 23-year-old enjoyed the most prolific campaign of his career last season, scoring 23 goals in all competitions as City won the Premier League title with a record 100 points.