Pep Guardiola encourages Man United to follow Man City’s lead and give Erik ten Hag time to turn it around at Old Trafford but admits Liverpool have been his biggest rivals in England
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- The Man City boss says the ‘organisation of the club’ has been vital to his side’s success
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Pep Guardiola has given Manchester United some cheeky derby day advice by suggesting they follow City’s example to bring the good times back to Old Trafford.
Guardiola, who also named Liverpool rather than United as his biggest rivals in England, is convinced Erik ten Hag needs time and the right structure behind the scenes at Old Trafford – the blueprint for success at The Etihad.
“If they make good decisions with the hierarchy, the sporting director and manager and players with the same ideas, they will be there,” Guardiola promised.
‘The reputation and prestige will always be there for Man United. Just click for the right decision.
“It’s the same: give the managers time and they will do it.”
Pep Guardiola has encouraged Man United to give Erik ten Hag time to turn around a difficult start to his second season
Ten Hag is under increasing scrutiny and Guardiola believes he needs the right structure around him to be successful
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With Sir Jim Ratcliffe set to take charge of football, Guardiola wants Ten Hag to be given the opportunity to build on last season’s work.
“Let the manager do the job like they did for me at City,” he added. ‘They gave me my first season when we didn’t win.
‘We have analyzed what happened. We had 10 or 11 players who were over 30 years old, so we said, “Okay, we have to bring energy and quality” and they supported me.
‘It takes time. If United win four, five, six games in a row they will be here. They are so close.
‘We have won five of the last six Premier Leagues. It’s because of the organization of our club.’
United have not finished higher than City in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and Ten Hag is the fourth manager to face Guardiola in the derby, after Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
There is already a six-point gap between the teams this season and Guardiola does not consider United his biggest threat since joining City in 2016.
“Of course it was Liverpool,” he said. “They challenged us like no other team has done before in my time here and helped us get better.
‘Now we are in the elite and maybe it is uncomfortable (for Man United). We are here now and we want to be there in the future.’
Liverpool finished just a point behind champions City twice, including an epic run in 2019 in which City won 98-97.
Guardiola named Liverpool his biggest challengers during his time in England and said Jurgen Klopp’s side have helped make his team better
The Man City boss doesn’t believe it will be possible for any team to enjoy the kind of dominance Sir Alex Ferguson had during his time at Old Trafford
For all the improvements United are making, Guardiola believes the era of dominance they enjoyed under Fergie in the 1990s and 2000s is virtually impossible to repeat.
“Maybe not in the way that Sir Alex Ferguson controlled at the time, because I think there were two or three teams (serious competitors) at that time,” Guardiola said.
‘Now Arsenal are back and Newcastle have arrived. Chelsea is restructuring a number of things. They will do it for years to come with the manager they have and the investment.
‘Look at Spurs, how well they are playing. They will be fresh all season with one game a week. All these teams are here.”