sport news Ilkay Gundogan's Clasico outburst has been a wake-up call for Barcelona... and ... trends now
Ilkay Gundogan set very high standards at Manchester City and the club responded in kind. After his first Clasico ended on Saturday with him scoring but finishing on the losing the side, the first whispers of discontent at Barcelona were heard from the German World Cup winner.
He wasn’t happy with the way the club welcomed him and his wife Sara Arfaoui said Diario Sport, and he was not happy with the way the team accepted defeat against Real Madrid, according to the man himself in a very frank post-match interview.
The first claim has since been denied by his wife on social media. The second, could have provoked one of two reactions at the club and in the Barcelona dressing room.
For all that his comments, that he wanted to see more anger after the loss, were welcomed by fans and Catalan media, there was a chance players could have reacted badly, feeling it was something he could have said inside the camp and not in front of the cameras. The club might also have wanted a different line taken after the first defeat of the season.
But instead players have rallied round the massively experienced midfielder using his moan as a clarion call to take them forward into the rest of the season. The club would love to build around Gundogan’s winning mentality with Joshua Kimmich the player they would be happy to bring in to play alongside him in midfield.
Ilkay Gundogan was dejected after the El Clasico defeat and suggested his team-mates were not hurt enough
Wednesday was the day when things were clarified regards both what Gundogan thinks of the way the club have treated him, and the way his comments about the team have landed.
Gundogan’s wife used her Instagram account to make it clear what she thought of the claims the club left the couple feeling 'abandoned' in the first few weeks of Ilkay’s time there.
‘Completely false,’ she said. ‘We are very happy and have the support of the club and the coaching staff. I would love to know where this news comes from. We love the people, the club, the city, everything.'
The fact that Gundogan lives in the centre of Barcelona and not in the gated high-security residences of the suburbs where so many of his team-mates choose to stay certainly suggests the couple are happy. He feels if he dons a cap and sunglasses he can move around his neighbourhood without drawing too much attention to himself and that is exactly what he prefers over the sheltered existence of a player on a 'multi-millionaire’s row' far from the noise of the fans.
Mail Sport understands that any discontent shown when he first arrived will have been no more