Gary Neville insists Pep Guardiola deserves to join Sir Alex Ferguson among the greatest managers of all-time if he wins the Treble with Man City… as he jokes there is just a FIVE PER CENT chance Man United beat their arch-rivals in the FA Cup final
- Man City are in line to win the Treble after becoming Premier League champions
- Man United are the only English side to win a Treble back in the 1998-99 season
- If successful, Pep Guardiola would match the achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson
Gary Neville has heaped praise on Pep Guardiola and claimed he deserves to join Sir Alex Ferguson in being the only managers to take an English club to a historic Treble.
After Arsenal lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Man City were crowned as Premier League champions to give Guardiola’s side their first trophy of the season.
It has been a superb second half of the campaign for City who have won 11 league games in a row, scoring 32 goals in the process as they turned around an eight-point deficit to Mikel Arteta’s side to win the league with three matches to go.
They are also in the Champions League final after thrashing Real Madrid 5-1 in the semi-finals and will come up against Inter Milan, while they also face arch-rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
This means they are just two games away from competing a historic Treble – a feat only achieved once before by an English club – United under Ferguson in 1998-99.
Gary Neville insists Pep Guardiola deserves to join Sir Alex Ferguson among the greatest managers of all-time if he wins the Treble with Man City this season
Ferguson remains the only manager of an English team to win the Treble when he did it in 1999
Neville was part of the iconic United team who won the league, FA Cup and Champions League
And Neville – who was part of that iconic team alongside several greats – hailed Guardiola as a potential equal to Ferguson, while he also insisted City’s team are a special outfit.
‘Do I want City to win the Treble?’ Neville told The Telegraph. ‘No! No! No, I don’t. Nobody wants City to win the Treble if you’re a Manchester United fan.
‘But if they do the job in the Premier League and beat Manchester United [in the FA Cup final] and Inter Milan [in the Champions League final] you’d just have to hold your hands up and say, “This manager and this group of players have achieved something unique.” And that, actually, it’s quite fitting if this manager does it.
‘Sir Alex Ferguson deserves to be the only manager in history to have done the Treble because he’s the greatest but if Pep Guardiola joined him, he’d be a worthy companion, because I think he is equal of what Sir Alex Ferguson achieved.’
Ferguson won 39 trophies while at United between 1986 to 2013 and while Neville also claimed Guardiola – who has won 12 trophies in his seven years in Manchester – was a special coach, he said the Scot deserves extra credit for his work with limited funds.
Man City were crowned Premier League champions after Arsenal lost to Nottingham Forest 1-0
They’ve been in fine form in the second half of the season, winning 11 league games in a row
He added: ‘When we talk about greatness, we have to mention that Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t just furnished with great young players and a great kitty to spend at Manchester United — he turned Aberdeen into kings of Europe, beating Real Madrid, and kings of Scotland over Rangers and Celtic — and that in itself is a massive achievement.
‘Then to come to Manchester United and break Liverpool’s dominance and do what he did over a period of time… in terms of longevity and consistency, he’s the greatest.
‘But what we’re seeing now from Pep, having been at City for six or seven seasons — I think Pep now sees what Sir Alex did and thinks, “Right, I can go on for six, eight, ten years.” Because where is he ever going to get the platform to do what he does like at City?
Neville heaped praise on what Guardiola has done with City since arriving as boss back in 2016
He also joked there is just a five per cent chance United will beat them in the FA Cup final
‘So, for me, he would be a worthy companion to Sir Alex and his players would be worthy companions of our Manchester United Treble team. Fingers crossed they lose though!’
Neville will be at the FA Cup final as a fan, supporting the team he played 602 times for but explained how he isn’t optimistic about their hopes against a team Ferguson once referred to as ‘the noisy neighbours’.
‘I’ve bought tickets for Wembley,’ he added. ‘I’m thinking, I want to be there to watch Manchester City beat Manchester United and potentially go on to win the Treble, but I also want to be there for potentially Manchester United to stop them.
‘For that 5 per cent chance it might happen!’