Saturday, April 20

Guardiola: “The easiest prize in history belongs to Ferguson”

After his latest success, Pep Guardiola admits he “won’t be chasing” Alex Ferguson when it comes to Premier League Manager of the Month awards.

A dominant December saw the Manchester City manager claim his 11th monthly award in England, rising to third in the all-time rankings.

That lies behind Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger at 15 and Ferguson, the godfather of cross-town rivals Manchester United, in front at 27.

In his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Chelsea, Guardiola reacted to his own promotion to third place: “Look out Sir Alex, Arsene, I’m coming!”

But once he got the news of the Ferguson 27, his prediction soon changed: “How many?

“Okay, it belongs to him. I won’t chase him for sure!”

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Guardiola also dismissed the importance of the award, praising his troops instead: “This is the easiest award in history.

“The one with the most points in a month is the manager of the month. It is simple. And the reason we won is not the coach, it’s the players.”

‘Out of this world’

Although City now hold a 10-point lead at the top of the table, Guardiola also discussed his current three-way title run, alongside Chelsea and Liverpool.

The Catalan coach suggested that it is the first time in his career that he has faced more than just one threat, but that is mainly due to the incredible pace set by Jurgen Klopp and himself in recent years.

Guardiola said: “At Barcelona, ​​it was Madrid. At Bayern, it was Dortmund. Here yes, in recent years it was Liverpool and us.

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“Now this season, Chelsea [are challenging] – but I have to say it’s because Liverpool and Man City were exceptional [previously]. Not because the others were wrong.

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“United were close, I remember a year with [Jose] Mourinho and last season especially with Ole [Gunnar] Solskjaer.

“They were really good, but we were exceptional.

“What Liverpool and Man City have done in the last three or four years has never been seen before in this country. Never again. More than 90 points to be champions, when before they were 78, 82, 86, 87.

“I think Antonio Conte started a bit with Chelsea when they won the league, in my first season here. But then Liverpool and City took a step.

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“I think they did well, the other opponents, Chelsea, United, Tottenham, they did well. But Liverpool and City were out of this world.

“I am proud of the five years of success. in January, [my players] they are still there in every game he competes.

“What happened after being champions, next season, for the last 10 champions? Take a review. The last 10 champions, next season they drop, and they drop massively.

“We’re there. And that’s incredible credit to these exceptional players. My job is to put my words behind them and tell them the truth.”

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