Robbie Savage believes Pep Guardiola will go down in football history as the greatest manager of all time.
Savage predicts the Spaniard will surpass the achievements of the game’s all time legends before he calls time on his coaching career. Guardiola guided Manchester City to their first Champions League final on Tuesday. City produces a comprehensive semi-final victory over Paris Saint-Germain created a moment of history for the club. Now one-time Manchester United academy graduate Savage has told TEAMtalk that Guardiola will eclipse the achievements of legendary United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and cement his legacy as the greatest manager them all.
“You have to say Pep Guardiola has done an incredible job. And I believe he will eclipse Alex Ferguson as the greatest manager the game has seen,” Savage said at a BT Sport event promoting their Innovate 21 competition.
“He is still behind Fergie in terms of trophies. But I think he will surpass that and he will have done it in different countries. So he will be the greatest manager of all time.
“The way he has evolved football in this country is just incredible. I’ve got a grassroots team and they try to play the same way as Manchester City. They pass it out from the back and it is remarkable that his influence is filtering down to that level.”
City’s critics will always suggest their success is driven by the huge financial backing they have received from their owners. Savage though insists that argument should not dilute Guardiola’s achievements in a week when his side could be crowned as Premier League champions once again.
“Money is part and parcel of the football, we can’t get away from that,” he added. “I speak to a lot of Manchester City fans and a lot of them were at the Gillingham game when they won promotion from the third division back in 1999.
“The club we see now is unrecognisable from that football club, but that is not a bad thing. The way the owners of Manchester City have regenerated that part of Manchester is quite incredible.
“My youngest son is in the development centre at Manchester City. I have seen first hand what they have done for the community. Witnessing what that part of Manchester was a few years ago and what it is now is quite remarkable.
Guardiola has spent wisely
“People can have money, but it is all about how you spend it. You look at how much money PSG have spent. But City were much better than them and that’s down to great management from Guardiola and sustained investment in the right areas of the team.
“I look at Chelsea and Frank Lampard did a fantastic job there, in my opinion. He changed the way the club did things with a focus on younger players coming through the ranks. He blended that with some big signings. Now Thomas Tuchel is reaping the rewards for that.
“Guardiola has also managed the finances he has been given superbly and he has produced a team that has everything in it.
“Yes they have spent a lot of money, but who would have thought that Manchester City would get to a Champions League final with a team that is not using a centre-forward and with a young English player dominating their midfield in Phil Foden.
“Guardiola is a sensational manager. And that’s the primary reason why Manchester City are the dominant team in English and possibly European football.”
Building on its reputation for world-class viewer innovation, BT Sport has launched the Innovate 21 competition to identify new experiences in sport broadcasts. To find out more and to enter, visit https://www.bt.com/sport/features/innovate21