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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Man City star Gundogan wants 'more honesty' from footballers and the media

The Germany international admits that the relationship between players and journalists can be predictable at times.

Ilkay Gundogan (file pic).
Ilkay Gundogan (file pic).

MAN CITY MIDFIELDER Ilkay Gundogan believes there should be “more honesty” between players and the media, believing it is important for players to speak their mind.

The Germany international believes the relationship between those competing on the field and those reporting off it can be “predictable” at times.

As a result, fans around the world are denied access to subjects which could be considered “taboo”.

Few are prepared to address such topics, in public at least, with Per Mertesacker bucking the trend in a recent interview, which saw him admit to feeling sick owing to the pressure of having to deliver at the very highest level.

Gundogan told DAZN on his fellow countryman: “I didn’t read the whole interview [with Mertesacker] but his statements are not bad. Quite the contrary, it’s great that he can handle it so openly. Many probably cannot.”

A man who has helped City to Premier League glory in 2017-18 added on the duties of both players and the media: “I wish that sometimes there is a little more honesty and that you can discuss things openly. There should not be taboo subjects.

I have no problem with answering questions honestly or even looking outside the box and answering private questions.

“It’s bad if you disguise yourself, I honestly cannot see it anymore when you’re after the game, always asked the same questions and give pre-programmed answers.

“I do not know if there is a solution for that. I don’t know if you can, want or should change it. But sometimes I just wish for a little more.

I don’t know if that must necessarily be other topics, but somehow these interviews seem not posed but pre-programmed and predictable. I cannot imagine anyone sitting at home looking at this being able to extract something new from it. At least I am not, and I’ve already seen such interviews many times and I’ve already given such interviews.

“I think both sides [footballers and media] have to change.”

Quizzed on what can be done to bring about those changes, Gundogan said: “I don’t know, probably ask different questions? No idea.

“You ask us the questions, and we have to react to them. And sometimes we are so focused we already have an answer in mind, which probably somebody of the media department told us before. That’s why I don’t want to know the questions before, when I give interviews whether TV or print. I don’t want to prepare myself for what I will answer. I think it would make me feel even unsure if you come to me before an interview and say: ‘Ilkay, here are the 10 questions, read that.’

Then you do not have the possibility to be spontaneous. Spontaneity is mostly honest. But then [if you see the questions before] you do not have the possibility of being 100% honest and say what you think anymore.

“So most of the time it’s controlled by the head and that’s a pity, because I think that quite a lot of footballers have more to offer. Some don’t want [to talk openly about things], you have to respect that, too. But I can imagine that many are open for it. And the people at home would not complain about it, too, I think — quite the contrary.”

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