Pep Guardiola has hit out at referees in his latest outburst, but Joey Barton says the Manchester City boss needs to “stop complaining and get on with it”.
The Catalan coach was understandably aggrieved after seeing Leroy Sane scythed down during Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Cardiff, with a horror tackle from Joe Bennett leaving the Germany international winger facing up to four weeks on the sidelines.
Guardiola confronted the match official Lee Mason at the blow of the final whistle before adding at his post match press confrences: “They [referees] are there to protect the players. When there is fault, there is fault, and when it is dangerous, it is dangerous.”
This is not the first time, though, that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has bemoaned the physicality of life in English football and Barton believes the 47-year-old needs to make peace with the fact that he is no longer in Spain or Germany.
The former City midfielder told talkSPORT: “What does he want, a non-contact sport like Spain or Italy where the game is broken up by a series of set-play after set-play?
“We need to let the game flow. The pace it is moving, there are going to be one or two challenges that are mistimed.
“Pep has to understand this is the nature [of English football].
“There is a physicality to our game which is different to the continent and if you are going to win leagues, it is par for the course. You are going to have to stand up to the examination of our game.
“Stop complaining, get on with it!”
Bennett only saw yellow for his challenge on Sane, before later being dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Barton believes too much is being made of one reckless tackle – which the Cardiff man has apologised for – with rough and tumble part of the game.
He added: “The game has progressed. We do protect our players very, very well in this country now compared to what we used to.
“If you look at Serie A and the French league, they are horrible leagues to watch. It is stop, stop, free-kick, free-kick, foul. That is why our league is the best because it does flow.”