Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel claims that City boss Pep Guardiola made Bayern “boring” and “got lucky” at Barcelona.
United legend Peter Schmeichel has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, and did just the same while talking about Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
His former side will take on their arch rivals on Saturday in a top of the table clash. Both teams under a new manager, playing under a entirely different philosophy, will be going head to head this coming weekend.
Guardiola has impressed a number of footballing fans around the world with his tiki-taka style of play that has given him a unique identity in the sport. Often termed as a slow brand of football, the Spanish tactician knows how to play possession-based football with his team on the front foot throughout the game.
One person who Guardiola has failed to impress, is the former Manchester United number one. Speaking to Omnisport (h/t Goal) ahead of the derby, Schmeichel said that Guardiola took the fun out of watching Bayern Munich play and was extremely fortunate to achieve the success he did during his time at the Camp Nou.
“He was okay at Bayern Munich. I have to say he was okay. For me, personally, he changed a really good, entertaining team to be become more boring to watch.
“Whereas Bayern before were very direct, they won the treble, 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,” said Schmeichel.
The Great Dane, as he is righteously called, made a total of 398 appearances for the Red Devils. Put to the test in front of a number of quality players, the former Denmark international believes that Guardiola found success at Barcelona due to the presence of players like Xavi, Iniesta and Messi among the ranks.
“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,” he added.
“So whereas [former United manager] 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.”
Manchester United take on Manchester City on the 10th of September in what will be Guardiola’s first taste of the historic rivalry between the two city rivals. His opposite number Jose Mourinho, too, will be relishing the encounter with his arch nemesis and would be hoping to finally get the better of him.