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Manchester United, the club that once used to terrify teams with league titles, has now come down to regular criticism from fans because of their title drought since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure. At a time like this, Erik ten Hag has found the unlikeliest of allies, one that came in the form of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Usually known to appreciate rival teams during press conferences, Guardiola has now decided to share his two cents on the Red Devils and give them some advice! Unlike ten Hag, who has had a string of disappointments, the Spaniard has enjoyed a successful tenure as a manager. But Pep feels that patience is the key for United.

A club’s success isn’t just down to the manager

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In a recent interview, Guardiola addressed his success with Manchester City and how it wasn’t a one-person job. He said, “I didn’t do it alone. This success doesn’t depend on the manager. If people believe it’s just me, mistake. If opponents believe that, it’s a big mistake. It’s the hierarchy, all people working. I’m involved but not alone,” he emphasized.

Manchester United has been facing turmoil in terms of building a team environment that is also stable. Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit was one of the first instances when things started to go awry. During the Portuguese international’s second stint at the club, it became well-known that ten Hag and CR7 could not get along well, leading to the player’s exit from the team. Jadon Sancho’s exit followed this!

Despite the instability, though, the Dutch manager led his team to the Champions League last year after finishing third in PL. However, a team’s success isn’t just dependent on the manager, as Guardiola rightly pointed out. This year, the club has not seen performances like last year. Many top players, including Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, have missed a step (and even gotten involved in controversies), leading United to grapple to reach the top four. 

Comparing their situation to Manchester City, the Sky Blues have also had their fair share of instability this season. However, Pep Guardiola dealt with it calmly. A top performer like Joao Cancelo was forced to move out for not aligning with the team’s requirements. But City kept going. When Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland were injured, others in the team stepped up to ensure City remained in the title fight. 

READ MORE: Pep Guardiola Explains Why Erling Haaland’s Goal Blitz Hinges on Kevin De Bruyne’s Support Following 5-Goal Haul

Guardiola recently gave away his six-digit bonus for winning the PL to the staff with gratitude. All this means is that, at the end of the day, how a club is performing is not just down to the manager but also every person working in the team. Although United is going through an unstable phase now, Guardiola believes ten Hag shouldn’t be criticized as much as he is. And he compared the Dutchman – rather, he didn’t – to Alex Ferguson. 

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Pep Guardiola lauded Sir Alex Ferguson and demanded patience from United

The treble-winning manager believed there was no justification for the club to put pressure on Erik ten Hag. Pep Guardiola feels it is wrong to expect the Dutchman to replicate a Sir Alex Ferguson-like spell. Pep Guardiola stated, “Big clubs, you have to win. Not easy for United.” After the kind of success the team had under Ferguson – 13 Premier League titles and 2 Champions League titles, among others – there’s no doubt United’s current form is exasperating. 

Acknowledging the Scottish boss, Guardiola added, “An incredible period with Sir Alex [Ferguson]. It’s not easy.” That’s precisely what he feels United needs to understand. The big clubs used to have more patience, now there is a lot of pressure. I don’t know the reason why. I’m not there…” United has not won a single league title since Sir Alex left.

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Despite hiring icons such as Jose Mourinho, the club hasn’t managed to relive its glory days. And Pep Guardiola believes the club’s environment is something the Red Devils can look at improving.

READ MORE: “Carabao Cup?… Nobody Cares!” – Pep Guardiola Drops Bold’ Truth’ Bombs Following Liverpool’s Historic Victory

Written by

Ruthu

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One take at a time

Ruthu is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Growing up in a sporting background, he found a passion for soccer through the remarkable 2002 World Cup-winning Brazilian team. Ruthu brings an out-of-the-box perspective with writing, as he possesses the ability to view the game from different critical angles, a skill that sets apart a sports journalist.
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Edited by

Jacob Gijy