Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy says he no longer uses his phone at the club’s training ground – so he can listen to manager Pep Guardiola instead.
Mendy became a firm fan favourite during his first season at the Etihad Stadium despite missing much of the campaign with a serious knee injury, thanks to his humorous posts on Twitter and Instagram.
The France left-back has been instrumental in City’s first two Premier League games of the current campaign but Guardiola has found it necessary to warn him to focus more on his football than social media.
Speaking after City’s 6-1 win against Huddersfield on Sunday, Mendy insisted he is heeding his manager’s advice, even if he did suggest it will not change how he is as a person.
“I know the fans love it, but the manager is the chief of the team, so when he says something I have to listen to him,” he told reporters. “Every player understands this.
“So in the dressing room, everywhere, I don’t pick up my phone.
Oops 😅 https://t.co/dVBYJNbKPM
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) August 12, 2018
“Every time I am with my phone I am on Instagram or Twitter and just now I need to be careful. When I am at the training centre, the CFA, I don’t use my phone but instead I listen to the manager.”
Asked about Guardiola’s recent requests, the 24-year-old added: “Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. I trust him, he has more experience of the players. I go without my phone.
“I don’t change but in the dressing room I don’t use my phone at all. It’s better.
“So I keep low, and on the pitch I give everything for the team and the fans.”
Mendy has set up three of City’s eight goals in the Premier League so far this season, and has made a direct contribution to a further two, and he says he would rather keep providing for his team-mates than scoring a goal himself.
“I prefer an assist to scoring a goal – for me it’s more beautiful,” he added.
“It is my vision. If I can score but there is a player to pass to, I give them the ball.
“I have worked a lot for this but the first thing is that the team played very well. We focussed on the objective – the first home game is very important for the fans and my team-mates.
“And we did a lot for this honour for David Silva.”
Silva missed a number of games during the second half of last season as he was given permission to help care for his son, Mateo, who was born prematurely.
Those problems appear to be a thing of the past now and Silva marked his return to the City first team by carrying Mateo out onto the pitch before kick-off, and by scoring the Blues’ fourth goal with a fine free-kick.
The whole Silva family were present at the Etihad on Sunday and Mendy was keen to pay tribute to his team-mate.
“It’s been the best day for him,” the Frenchman said. “He has worked so hard for this – it’s not easy to train and look after your son.
“He had a very difficult moment but now he is very happy, his son is fine and so are the family.
“And he gave them a very good gift with his free-kick.”