Until Pep Guardiola wins a Champions League title with Man City, he can never be compared to the great Sir Alex Ferguson, says former Reds winger Andrei Kanchelskis, who spoke ‘Down the Line’ on his show.
Kanchelskis won five major awards with United in four years at Old Trafford Club, but later in his career he also had a brief loan break with City and is one of the few players to choose both in the Manchester derby.
Under Sir Alex, Kanchelskis, then an unknown and untested young winger behind the Iron Curtain, emerged from anonymity and became a football superstar.
Pep Guardiola’s city is currently leading the Premier League by 14 points over the neighbors and runner-up United in the Derby at Etihad on Sunday.
The 52-year-old speaks to Andrei Kanchelskis about RT Sports Down the Line and says City is the “best team in Europe” and will be “100 percent” champion if they beat United.
“Of course it ended … No chance. Especially at the moment, in the great shape of Man City, the players play more relaxed. Not too much pressure like on Liverpool, Man Utd. Man City play for themselves, more relaxed. When Man City loses this. ” Game, no big problems. If Man Utd lose, big problems are over, “said Kanchelskis.
“It’s a derby game, a special game for Man Utd and Man City. Difficult game [for Man Utd]Man City is playing in great shape and not dropping points. I already said if you lose points during this period, December, January, February, if you don’t lose points, you might win the title.
“This game is a derby, especially for the players and fans … If Man Utd wins there is a small chance of the race for the title. It’s an important game for Man Utd because it’s against the best team in Europe is the moment. “
Although Kanchelskis has had the most dominant national success of any club in recent years, he insists that Pep Guardiola’s extensive list of achievements lacks one that prevents him from being in the same leadership category as Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Everyone says [Guardiola] is so good at winning titles, winning the league, but he doesn’t win the Champions League. Only Barcelona won the Champions League. Bayern Munich, no, in the league, yes, OK. Man City, in the league, but not in the Champions League, “said Kanchelskis.
“If Guardiola wins the Champions League with Man City, OK after we talked about Guardiola. Guardiola is a great coach now but not as great as Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Ferguson won 13 league titles and two Champions League titles during his 26-year tenure with United. Guardiola won two European Cups with Barcelona – both in the final against United – and is looking for his third Premier League crown in five years at the top of the city.
Kanchelskis says the difference between the Spaniard and Ferguson is his relentless winning streak, which includes two runs of three Premier League titles in a row from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2008 to 2010.
“Why do I say Alex Ferguson is the best? Because Man Utd wins titles three times in a row. Guardiola, one title, next season, problems. Klopp won the title, next season is a bit problematic. Not the same Level like Ferguson. That’s why I say Ferguson is the best and always stabilizing, “said Kanchelskis, who was part of two wins in the Ferguson Premier League and won titles in 1993 and 1994 in a row.
“He’s a great man, a great coach. He’s a brilliant man. Before the game just focus for the game. Halftime if you play badly [he’s] very angry, aggressive, screaming very badly in the locker room. After the game he is a new man, changes, smiles, drinks for the players, speaks, laughs.
“For me, I saw a new coach in Ferguson. Because I was born in the USSR. Nobody spoke to the coaches like the players who spoke to Ferguson. It was a bit scary.” [in the USSR]. Ferguson was scary before the game, of course, during the game, but not after the game, it was okay. It’s a nice personality. “
Ferguson was famous for his “hair dryer treatment,” which swore at underperforming players by leaning into their faces and barking his command, what Kanchelskis apparently most unwittingly suffered in an incident involving the quick wits of his interpreter, George Scanlan.
“In a game I played badly, Ferguson came into the locker room. George Scanlan, he was an interpreter for me and Cantona. [Ferguson] said George Scanlan, because I didn’t understand English: “Andrei played very badly, blah blah blah”, like that. I didn’t understand what he was saying, you know, “said Kanchelskis.
“Then I said to George, ‘What did he say?’ And he said, ‘Ah, you played great, come on, come on.’ He told me after the game that it was a lot [big] Surprise to me. “
Kanchelskis, however, complimented Guardiola’s attitude towards poor refereeing decisions that many of his rivals have often fallen victim to. When the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) were introduced, Frank Lampard, Jürgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as well as players and experts discussed their suitability after consistently making bizarre decisions based on questionable criteria.
“If you lose points, you’re talking about referees anyway. A lot of coaches talk about referees. Sometimes there are mistakes, [the referee] is also a man. People make mistakes, as do referees. Referees are not robots, the referee lives, people make mistakes, “said Kanchelskis.
“Sometimes coaches say bad referees, no results, the referee is not good. I’ve never seen Guardiola say about referees. Of course, sometimes he never speaks too much, but not as much and is now the front runner. No questions asked.” . “
Manchester City’s success has led pundits to compare them, as well as last season’s champions Liverpool, to yesterday’s big Premier League teams.
Among them is Ferguson’s 1994 double-winning team, in which Kanchelskis played a pivotal role on the right. His most famous individual achievement was a 1994 hat trick in the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.
“It’s a different time, you know. Man City are demonstrating great football. When we played 93-94, we played great football, excellent football. This is a new day, a new life, new football, new pace, different pace “
“When I played, when I scored my hat trick against Man City, we were first in the table, Man City was almost at the end. It doesn’t matter, it’s a derby, it’s a different spirit, everyone is focused, determination I hope , Man Utd wins, I hope Rashford or maybe another player [will score] A hat trick against Man City, “he said.