Kitegate: Fulham’s Marco Silva responds to controversy – as Pep and Arteta have their say ahead of huge weekend for Man City and Arsenal

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MARCO Silva said he was surprised to be fielding a question about Fulham players flying kites in training – as title rival managers Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta gave their thoughts ahead of the crucial weekend’s action. 

A video showed Rodrigo Muniz, Andreas Pereira and former Arsenal player Willian flying kites at their training ground. 

Fulham host City on Saturday with Arsenal needing a favour from the Cottagers. The Gunners are a point above City who have a game in hand. Arsenal are away to Manchester United on Sunday.

The video worried some Arsenal fans. If City win their final three games they will be champions. 

“You start a press conference before a match against City this way? I expected more, to be honest,” Silva said on Friday afternoon. 

“You are asking me something that even I don’t know the story about. If a player comes in on a day off or after the match, if he’s there with his team-mates doing something different, it’s not going to be a problem. 

“I don’t read it but social media plays a big part in it right now. But to be questioned about one situation that started on social media is a little bit strange for me when you have such an important game and so many good teams to talk about, about football, about players, about tactics, about the season of Fulham and you come to me to ask about it, I don’t know.” 

Willian said Fulham will “try our best to win the game”. 

“It’s always good to play against the big teams, especially City who are, for me, the best team in the world,” Willian said. “It’s going to be a difficult one for us, of course, but it’s always a pleasure to play these kinds of games, for sure.

“To beat them, you need to be perfect. In every moment of the game, in every aspect of the game. If you sleep for five seconds, they can kill us. I think it will be a great game to play.

“We respect them a lot, as I said they’re the best team in the world, but we cannot be afraid to play against them. We need to go there Saturday and try our best to win the game.

“We have examples – we played against two big teams and beat them at home. And now we have another opportunity to do the same.

“Of course, it will be a tough one, a tough game to play, but I think together we can do something special.” 

On the significance of the game to Arsenal, Willian added: “To be honest, I don’t think about helping Arsenal, or any other club. We have to think about us, to do the best game that we can do on Saturday.

“We have two games left and we have to fight for the points, but for me personally I don’t think about any other situation, any other club. I think about myself and my club.” 

Guardiola was asked about it in his press conference. 

“Are you sure?” he asked. “They play again in front of their fans and they will do everything to beat us, but about that [flying kites] I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Arteta didn’t appear to have any problems with it. He said: “The power of team bonding, nobody knows what is it. I’ve been in teams that have been struggling, go out for a dinner, and then start an unbelievable run. I’m really positive that’s going to happen to Fulham.” 


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