Sir Alex Ferguson has already been speaking about Leicester City and their Cinderella story as Premier League champions-elect, and the former Manchester United boss has also weighed on Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival at Manchester City.
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Guardiola. 45, will arrive at the Etihad Stadium this summer after signing a three-year deal to take charge of United’s crosstown rivals.
Despite his undying allegiance to Manchester United, Ferguson did hail the appointment of Guardiola as a “real coup” for City but has left the Spanish coach with a warning shot: underestimate the Premier League at your peril.
If anybody knows about the power of the PL, it’s Ferguson.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ferguson referred to Pep as “Pepe” throughout his answers and is sure he will be a success in his first assignment in England but told him it won’t be easy.
“Well, Pepe, without question has a fantastic work ethic about him. He demands that from all his training sessions. So anyone who thinks they are not going to work hard, they won’t last long, I’m sure of that. He has got great coaching ability, there’s no doubt about that.”
“It is interesting because it will be difficult for him to replicate what he did at Barcelona. Obviously Man City have a real coup in getting him because he’s an outstanding coach but Pepe won’t find it as easy. English football is not easy and every foreign coach who has come to England will tell you about that. Arsene Wenger, when he came to England after a few months he was talking about that. Jose when he came, after his first season, he realized what he achieved was hard work.
“He will be a success, I don’t think he will ever replicate what he did at Barcelona but that is a high standard. They were the best.”
Now, Fergie admires Guardiola. That much is clear. His Manchester United side were dissembled by Guardiola’s Barcelona in two UEFA Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011 at the height of Guardiola’s powers.
However, the comments from Sir Alex about Guardiola not be able to replicate what he did at Barca at Man City smack of sour grapes.
Let’s see if “Pepe” can prove Fergie wrong…