Alex Ferguson

Pep Guardiola lashes out
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Pep responds: ‘I tell Jose and Jurgen that it was a good day for football’

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola isn’t taking criticism from Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho lying down.

The Liverpool and Tottenham bosses branded the lifting of Man City’s European ban as bad for the game, and Guardiola had answers at the ready.

Klopp called it a “bad day for football” while Mourinho applied the adjective “disgraceful.”

[ MORE: What now for Man City, PL? ]

“I tell Jose and Jurgen that it was a good day for football,” Guardiola said. “A very good day. We played with the same rules as everyone. If we broke them then we would’ve been banned.”

Guardiola was outright preening now that City’s seen its ban rescinded and a massive fine lowered to about $12 million (still plenty of money). The fine was for obstructing the investigation.

He went off. From The Daily Mail:

“All these clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Wolves, Man Utd, Tottenham, Liverpool — Liverpool — Burnley, I understand they want the five positions. We were with the eight clubs, we wanted a resolution.

“(But) don’t go behind and whisper. Next time before (you) make phone calls, call our chairman and say, ‘Guys, all these clubs we are going to do it all together.’ Manchester City don’t have to apologise because the three independent judges decided we have done everything properly. It’s clear. We were exonerated for something we were accused of.

“In the last decade, we’ve spent more than in the past, yes, but 30 years ago Arsene Wenger (spent). Arsene, the guy who perfectly defends Financial Fair Play… so Arsene, you know that Manchester City was correct with what we have done.”

“United with Sir Alex Ferguson spent a lot of money. When Chelsea started to win Premier Leagues, they invested more than the others. Barcelona and Real Madrid spent a lot of money.”

There should be some fair play to Guardiola, who is right to point out that all of the above managers spent massively to sustain success regardless of academy development. Man City is criticized for where its investment comes from but also can point to similar companies investing in his rivals. Essentially, Guardiola is asking that critics apply their disdain for spending across all clubs.

In other words, everybody spends. Few less than City. Guardiola laid out about $75 million on Rodri and a little less on Joao Cancelo (albeit with a lot going the other way in Danilo). His 2017-18 spend on Ederson, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, and Bernardo Silva was audacious.

Mourinho has worked in some of the biggest spending clubs in the world. Liverpool splashed huge money on Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Sadio Mane, Christian Benteke, and Roberto Firmino. These managers and clubs don’t operate in a vacuum and don’t produce beautiful football out of the bargain stores.

Guardiola did not limit his criticism to his critics in England.

The ex-Barcelona boss was happy to issue a stinging rebuke to La Liga chief Javier Tebas.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch versus Norwich City ]

“He’s another one, this guy Senor Tebas must be so jealous of English football. He’s an incredible legal expert from what I see, maybe next time I’ll ask them which court and judges we have to go to.”

Here are some more thoughts relayed by Man City’s Twitter account:

Sir Alex Ferguson to manage Man Utd in anniversary match

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The 20th Anniversary of Manchester United’s treble, to the day, will see Sir Alex Ferguson managing the club.

This, of course, is for a single night only, as the Red Devils celebrate their 1999 treble with a testimonial of sorts against Bayern Munich, who it beat 2-1 to win the Champions League on May 26, 1999.

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

“I’m really looking forward to what will be a special day at Old Trafford. It will be great to catch up with some familiar faces and a great opportunity to support the work of Manchester United Foundation,” Ferguson said.

Players for the game are not confirmed but imagine the possibilities: Peter Schmeichel was across the field from Oliver Kahn. Lothar Matthaus had to deal with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, and the Neville brothers started or were in the 18.

Keep in mind that Solskjaer scored the winner for Ferguson’s United that day at the Camp Nou, as the Red Devils scored twice in stoppage time for a remarkable comeback win.

Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson no longer needs intensive care

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Manchester United has released a statement on the improving condition of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who had been in intensive care with a brain hemorrhage since the weekend.

[ MORE: Cubs owner buy USL team ]

Rarely have two long sentences read so well to fans of Manchester United and soccer in general.

Here’s the full statement on Ferguson, 76, from ManUtd.com:

Sir Alex Ferguson no longer needs intensive care and will continue rehabilitation as an inpatient.

His family have been overwhelmed by the level of support and good wishes but continue to request privacy as this will be vital during this next stage of recovery.

Get well soon, Sir Alex.

Wenger, Mourinho react to prematch ceremony with Sir Alex

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It isn’t every day that two, let alone three, longtime rivals come together for a happy pre-match salute to one of the trio.

That’s what happened Sunday at Old Trafford prior to Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Arsenal.

[ MORE: Fellaini, Pogba react to late win ]

Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson presented departing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with a gift and the Manchester United crowd gave the Frenchman a loud round of applause and cheers for a fantastic career and rivalry.

“We did it fantastically well as a club,” Mourinho said. “I felt it would mean more if Sir Alex came down because as United managers I played against Mr. Wenger three or four times but the big rivalry in the history of both clubs was between them.”

WengWenger appreciated the gesture.

“Very nice,” he said. “It was classy and you enjoy it. Apart from that, I have come here for a long, long time and next year someone else will come here, sit on the bench and get a very hostile reception, don’t worry.”

Wenger was then asked about being flanked by Mourinho and Ferguson, something that wouldn’t have been seemed pleasant so many times in their histories.

“Life goes always on, and sometimes it gets better.”

The conditional part of that statement may sum up Arsenal’s future without Wenger.

Ferguson, Mourinho salute “absolutely fantastic” Wenger (video)

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As Arsene Wenger pays his last visit to Old Trafford as Arsenal manager, Manchester United is pulling out the stops for its longtime foe.

[ RECAP: West Ham 1-4 Man City ]

Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho presented Wenger with a silver gift before the match, and the Old Trafford crowd issued a loud salute to the Frenchman.

It was a transcendental moment near a pitch which often distracts from the commonality of its actors.

United also released a video of Ferguson, one of his fiercest rivals turned friends, discussing Wenger’s massive career.

In it, Ferguson praised Wenger’s “absolutely fantastic” career and said the Arsenal-Manchester United rivalry defined the Premier League’s first stanza.

“I relished them in a certain way, but always with a bit of trepidation because you have to win those matches. I think it made the Premier League. It was the highlight for 7-8 years, head-to-head, toe-to-toe, and the feeling was whoever won that was gonna win the league.”

Ferguson relayed that Wenger and he now go to dinner every year at a coaching banquet, and are quite fond of each other.

He then reflected on learning about Wenger. Ferguson said he was always looking around for threats to United’s crown, and Wenger’s arrival was a bit different.

“Arsene just appeared from nowhere, came from Japan,” Ferguson said. “He brought a different way of managing his football club in terms of diet and training regimes he had. It raised the antennae of ourselves in the sense that I’ve got competition here. What are they doing that we maybe should do ourselves? It’s one of these things you should always try to progress whether it’s one degree, one percent or two percent. We had to do that because they were formidable sides.”