The jibes between Manchester United and Manchester City fans and players alike are well underway ahead of derby day on Saturday.
Whether Manchester is red or blue by Saturday evening, one footballing legend, who has played for both clubs, claims Pep Guardiola will make Manchester City dull to watch, just as he did at Bayern Munich.
Peter Schmeichel has added fuel to the already brightly burning derby fire by suggesting Guardiola made Munich less entertaining despite winning three consecutive Bundesliga titles during his three-year spell in Germany.
Speaking to Omnisport (via Goal.com) the ex-goalkeeper said:
“He was okay at Bayern Munich. I have to say he was okay.
“For me, personally, he changed a really good, entertaining team to become more boring to watch.
“Whereas Bayern before were very direct, had quick players and were exciting to watch, he [Guardiola] made them play more square. He changed the players, but you can’t argue with his results.”
While Schmeichel has no doubts the ex-Barcelona player and manager is a good coach, he feels the 45-year-old was lucky to have a host of talented players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi at his disposal, and that with very little competition during his time in Germany the Spaniard will have his work cut out to turn City into a force domestically and in Europe, as the owners demand.
“With Pep, he comes in with an incredible reputation. What he did with Barcelona was fantastic, his work was fantastic, but he was also very lucky he had the players to bring in the philosophy that he has in football.
“So whereas Alex Ferguson’s first priority was ‘we have to be able to score goals’ – for most coaches that’s the priority – with Pep it’s possession, I want to have as much possession as possible.
“So the philosophy goes to ‘I want to have so much possession that at some point we’ll score a goal from that, the goals will come from possession’ and that’s his philosophy.
“That’s what we’ll see at Manchester City or he’s going to introduce that. He was very lucky he had the players at Barcelona but he was clever in what he did.
“The Premier League is a completely different animal to any other in the world. It just goes on and on and on, you feel it never stops, even in March you have 12 games to go, you think will this ever stop?”
With Saturday’s derby the first meeting of Jost Mourinho and Guardiola at their respective new clubs, fans on both sides will be hoping for an entertaining game while all the focus no doubt will be on the dugout.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena