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 he only has a FIVE PERCENT chance of being beaten by Man United are their main rivals in the FA Cup Final
- Man City are in line to win the Treble after becoming Premier League champions
- Man United were the only English side to win the Treble in the 1998-99 season
- If successful, Pep Guardiola will match the achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson
Gary Neville has praised Pep Guardiola and says he deserves to join Sir Alex Ferguson as the only managers to take an English club to a historic Treble.
After Arsenal lost 1-0 at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Man City were crowned Premier League champions to hand 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 straight league games, scoring 32 goals in the process as they overturned an eight-point deficit to Mikel Arteta’s side to win the league with three games remaining. .
They are also in the finals of the Champions League after beating Real Madrid 5-1 in the semi-finals and will face Inter Milan, while they will also face arch-rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
It means they need just two games to compete for a historic Treble – a feat achieved by only one 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 so in 1999
Neville was part of the iconic United team that won the league, the FA Cup and the Champions League
And Neville – who was part of that iconic team alongside some greats – hailed Guardiola as Ferguson’s potential equal, while he also insisted that City’s squad was a special ingredient.
‘Do I want City to win the Treble?’ Neville told The Telegraph. ‘No! No! No no. 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 just have to put your hands up and say, “This manager and this group of players have achieved something extraordinary.” And that, frankly, is quite appropriate 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 would be a worthy companion, because I think he is equal to what Sir Alex Ferguson achieved.’
Ferguson won 39 trophies while at United between 1986 to 2013 and while Neville also claimed Guardiola – who won 12 trophies in his seven years in Manchester – was a special coach, he said the Scot deserved extra credit for his work with limited funds.
Man City were crowned Premier League champions after Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 1-0
They were in good form in the second half of the season, winning 11 league games in a row
He added: ‘Wwhen we talk about greatness, we should mention that Sir Alex Ferguson was not only given great young players and a great kitty to spend at Manchester United — he made Aberdeen the kings of Europe, beat the Real Madrid, and kings of Scotland. Rangers and Celtic — and that in itself is a massive achievement.
‘Then to go to Manchester United and break Liverpool’s dominance and do what he did for a period of time… in terms of longevity and consistency, he was the greatest.
‘But what we’re seeing now from Pep, who’s been at City for six or seven seasons — I think Pep is now seeing what Sir Alex has done and he’s thinking, “Right, I can go on for six, eight, ten years.” Because where will he get a platform to do what he wants in the City?
Neville praised what Guardiola has done at City since arriving as boss in 2016
He also joked that there was only a five per cent chance of United beating them in the FA Cup final
‘So, for me, he will be a worthy companion to Sir Alex and his players will be worthy companions to our Manchester United Treble team. Fingers crossed they lose!’
Neville was at the FA Cup final as a fan, supporting the team he played for 602 times but explained how he was not optimistic about their prospects against a team Ferguson once described as ‘the noisy neighbors’.
‘I bought tickets for Wembley,’ he added. ‘I think, I want to be there to watch Manchester City beat Manchester United and possibly go on to win the Treble, but I also want to be there for Manchester United potentially to stop them.
‘For the 5 percent chance that could happen!’