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Pep Guardiola is without a doubt the greatest manager of all time; forget about Alex Ferguson.

Pep Guardiola is without a doubt the greatest manager of all time; forget about Alex Ferguson.

What is your earliest memory of Manchester City? There have been many victories, so perhaps this one stands out, or perhaps it was a devastating loss. How about a dull 0-0 draw?

 

However, it was when I was a small child, wandering the City Superstore, holding my parents’ hands, and belting out “City, best team in the land and all the world.” One of the terraces’ cult classics, it was originally sung when City wasn’t even the best team in Manchester, let alone the country or the world.

 

But it’s safe to say that Manchester City is currently the greatest team in the nation after the Blues won their fifth trophy of the year.

But it’s safe to say that Manchester City is currently the greatest team in the nation and the entire globe after the Blues won their fifth trophy of the year. And one man is largely responsible for that success, if not entirely: Pep Guardiola.

 

After moving to east Manchester a little more than seven years ago, City’s Catalan manager has completely changed the club’s trajectory. His 16th trophy as Manchester City manager was won last week against Fluminense, a Brazilian team. This victory completed the set.

 

During his tenure as manager of City, Pep Guardiola has won every competition he has overseen, which is an incredibly incredible accomplishment.

Naturally, discussions about Pep Guardiola’s reputation in the industry have flared up again, with comparisons to past great managers—most notably, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson—being made.

 

Similar to Guardiola, Ferguson achieved great success as a manager and retired in 2013 with an astounding 49 major awards. Unfortunately, though, Pep is an easy target for the Scottish coach when it comes to confrontation.

 

Pep Guardiola is the obvious (and only) winner when it comes to their head-to-head record; over the course of three seasons, his FC Barcelona team defeated Manchester United twice in the UEFA Champions League final.

The first occurred when United had become the most dominant team in English football history, having won three straight Premier League titles and qualifying as the defending European champions going into the 2009 final.

 

Then there was the second, at Wembley Stadium in 2011, when a dominant Barça team humiliatingly destroyed Fergie’s team. During his long tenure at Old Trafford, the then-United manager declared Pep Guardiola’s team to be “the best team we’ve faced.”

 

Moreover, Guardiola’s accomplishments as Manchester City’s manager are noteworthy, as the Catalan has nearly matched, if not exceeded, those of his Scottish counterpart.

The Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League Treble, originally accomplished in 1999 by Alex Ferguson and associates, was considered the pinnacle of English football accomplishments for a considerable amount of time.

 

In addition to winning three trophies of their own last season, City did so after United had a brief opportunity to hold onto their record as the only Treble winners in English history—a defense that lasted just 13 seconds.

 

Aside from that, though, Guardiola’s accomplishments in England surpass those of Ferguson. The Catalan led a City team that set a record with 100 points in 2017–18, completed the domestic treble in 2018–19, and won three consecutive Premier League titles.

In a much shorter amount of time, Pep has matched everything Ferguson accomplished in England that was noteworthy.

 

Include in the mixture With City’s most recent triumph, making history as the first English team to win five trophies in a single season, it’s evident that Guardiola is receiving a lot of the credit.

 

But what will stick in people’s minds the most about Guardiola is his influence and legacy on the larger game. Pep is a visionary in football, and his influence on the game will endure long after the former Barcelona player leaves the dugout.

Guardiola is by no means the creator of these ideas, but he is the one who brought the false nine, playing out of the back, double pivots, inverted fullbacks, and many other tactical changes that have sustained his team’s success to life and made them enjoyable. Even though Ferguson was an excellent man-manager, he and Pep are not on the same level when it comes to having a significant impact on coaching philosophies.

 

Consider the mid-season system change from the previous season. John Stones entered the midfield from the backline as Guardiola, aware that City was losing control in the middle of the park after Erling Haaland’s introduction, shifted to a three-two defensive set-up.

Stones was instrumental in all three of City’s victories, including the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. As a result, managers all over the world are already copying and pasting this move.

 

Midway through a season, would Ferguson—or any other manager, for that matter—have adopted such a tactically demanding system and accomplished as much? Most likely, the response is negative.

 

Ferguson leads Guardiola by 12 major honors in the aggregate number of trophies won, which is the only measurable metric in which the two are superior. However, part of the reason for that is that Ferguson has been a manager for longer than Guardiola.

 

Ferguson’s management career consists of just over one trophy every campaign. It comes to Guardiola, on average, twice a season. The games-to-trophy ratio makes this even more apparent. Guardiola receives a silverware every twenty or so games, while Ferguson receives one every forty.

 

Critics will point to the resources that Guardiola had access to in his prior positions, but as United is proving right now, money isn’t a guarantee of success. Access to elite talent can be obtained through money, but it takes a mastermind like Guardiola to shape these players into an all-conquering team.

These extravagances are merely compensation for Guardiola’s superior coaching abilities. After all, you wouldn’t expect the current world champion, Max Verstappen, to drive a 1.4-liter Ford Fiesta with worn-out tires and a problematic gearbox during the Formula 1 season.

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