Pep Guardiola cancelled Christmas for Manchester City’s first-team stars as they were reportedly banned from attending the club’s festive party.
The club have started a tradition in recent years of holding an annual Christmas party for all employees, including the first-team squad.
Guardiola feared a late night at the festive do had contributed to the poor results, which left City with an uphill task to master before they could successfully defend their Premier League title.
And with City currently 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, Guardiola took action to avoid a similar slump by banning players from
this year’s bash, according to Goal .
The party took place at a city-centre venue on Thursday – just three days before City head to the Emirates to face Arsenal .
It is crucial City return to winning form after they lost to Manchester United in last weekend’s Manchester derby.
City players attended Raheem Sterling’s lavish 25th birthday last Sunday, the day after the defeat to United.
Guardiola’s side face a busy December and January, including 11 games in a five-week period.
Meanwhile, City are reportedly eyeing Mauricio Pochettino as a possible replacement for Guardiola if the manager decides to leave City this summer.
Guardiola last year signed an extension to his contract, keeping him at City until 2021.
However, when he extended his contract, the revised deal included an agreement that he could leave City at the end of this season, according to the Daily Mail .
The publication says City are confident the Catalan will stay, but are drawing up contingency plans in case he leaves – with Pochettino high on the list of potential successors.