Aged 40, and already Pep Guardiola has amassed the equivalent of what Ferguson has achieved over the past few decades, has he already surpassed Ferguson as the best manager out there?
What’s more intriguing about the facts is that Guardiola has already won 2 Champions League titles, in just a short span of 3 years. Comparing that stat with perhaps the most celebrated managers of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, whom has been working has a manager since 1974, although that would be perhaps an unfair judgement, so I’ll instead use the date of which he was appointed manager of the Red Devils: 1986.
But although Ferguson has managed to forge a dynasty at Manchester United, it still seems a bit surprising that he hasn’t managed to get more than 2 Champions league trophies. Yes, he took a team whom weren’t exactly ‘winning material’ and turned them into a International brand whom have won trophies aplenty, but still, he’s been around for quite a long time now, it surprises me still that he has only collected 2 CL trophies.
On the other hand, in Guardiola’s short Spanish adventure,he has earned 2 in a very time with the Catalan giants. Fair to say, Guardiola did have a wonderful squad with a lot of money at his disposal to work with, but it still has to be said that he has done a lot to improve the squad and keep morale in the Camp Nou going high.
What he also did was go one further than recent managers by taking their football to a new level, with him revolutionizing the way Barca play. The movement, the passing just proves how much he has worked to improve the team. And the second fact is, he hasn’t exactly been losing (much) money for Barcelona in the transfer market. After all, they brought in Villa and they shipped out Ibrahimovic and he made a few small deals.
Similarly to how Ferguson brought out the best in Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles, and Beckham around 2 decades ago, Guardiola has brought up the likes of Pedro and Sergio Busquets, who have in fact made such a big impact that they are now on the bench for the Spanish side, a side that is most certainly not easy to get into.
Another thing about Guardiola is that he doesn’t seem to like long-term projects. I am personally wondering why he doesn’t want to commit to Barcelona for a longer period of time. The best team in the world, no argument, and a brilliant academy to work with. No doubt about the talent, I don’t get why he would want to leave such a wonderful job.
Bottom line is: Ferguson did a fantastic job in creating a dynasty by starting off with youngsters in the first place, but the products of the academy at Manchester United haven’t exactly been too brilliant with an exception to the twin talents in Rafael and Fabio da Silva, there hasn’t been much to offer in terms of first team players from the academy of Manchester.
Guardiola indeed is a good manager, but he certainly needs to test his credentials with a smaller squad. The team he inherited at Barcelona was brilliant, to say the least, so it will be interesting to see how he will actually fare with a smaller team, a team like, let’s say Lyon. That might be the way to go.