Jamie Carragher believes Alex Ferguson’s prediction about Manchester City hasn’t aged well.
At the beginning of the Sheikh Mansour era at City, then-Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson confidently claimed that the Red Devils’ local neighbours would never be a bigger club than United.
Ferguson compared City to the Sunderland side of the early 1950s, which had the nickname of ‘The Bank of England team’ before the Black Cats were relegated in 1958.
“They could buy every player in the world, but can they buy a team, can they buy a Manchester United spirit?” Ferguson said of City in 2010.
Relegation for this City side looks unfathomable as Pep Guardiola is destined to deliver another Premier League title and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher is of the opinion that Fergie got that particular prediction wrong.
“It’s an understatement to say those comments – made at the start of the ‘noisy neighbours’ rivalry – have not aged well for the Old Trafford legend,” Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column.
“Should they (City) add the Carabao Cup and FA Cup to the formality of the Premier League title, City will have won nine of the last 12 domestic trophies. That’s an incredible return which should be a source of pride and elation for all involved. It should also worry everyone else.”
Since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, City have enjoyed considerably more success than United and the reclaiming of the honour of the most dominant force in England appears to be some way away for the Red Devils.
Carragher pointed to the good fortune that City have enjoyed on occasion this term to highlight his belief that Ferguson has been proven wrong about the Citizens’ ability to build towards the kind of team spirit that the Scot instilled in his United side.
“Uncannily, the better teams are, the luckier they often get,” Carragher explained.
“That’s a consequence of the trait Ferguson referenced in 2010 and something the Liverpool team of 2001 had in abundance team spirit. You can’t put any price tag on that. Ferguson was right to say as much, but wrong when questioning whether City would ever possess that of his United side. He will have changed many of his opinions on the club since then.
“Suffice to say, relegation does not look like it will ever be a problem for what might mischievously be described as the First Abu Dhabi Bank club.”