Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City cannot match Manchester United’s heritage of long-term domestic and european success.
Man City, following a promising start to life under Guardiola, have quickly slumped down the Premier League table and currently sit in third spot – seven points leaders Chelsea.
The Spaniard has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks, exemplified most notably during his post match interview following City’s win over Burnley on Monday.
And Guardiola, speaking to the Daily Mirror, conceded that his side will never possess the same pedigree as their neighbours.
“We don’t have the history with this shirt, of Barcelona, Juventus, [Bayern] Munich or Manchester United. Not their titles,” he said.
“It’s about being in Europe and over the next decade to be there [in the Champions League] every year. That’s more important to this club than winning one title, believe me, more than that.
“We have to convince people at this amazing club that they are good. They are good. And the fans as well.
“They have to believe they are good, the club is good, the players are good.”
Guardiola may be ahead of Jose Mourinho in the table, but ask yourself this: which manager is happier right now?
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss finds himself in conflict with English football’s audience and, more importantly, his own side.
You can tell that nothing angers the Spaniard more than various pundits lecturing him about how his modern version of ‘tiki-taka’ won’t work in a league dominated by set-pieces, fixture congestion and higher levels of physicality, and the point holds some weight. Defeats to Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Leicester City highlighted the embedded flaws found in Guardiola’s zonally based, ice-hockey-esque style. His City side, whilst packed with talent, look unsure of themselves, almost as if such an approach feels painfully alien to a group of players accustomed to a more traditional style enforced by Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini.
Mourinho’s men, on the other hand, have cultivated some long-lost drive, playing with purpose and power. The direction under the 53-year-old – who, unlike his old rival, has weathered the Premier League storm before – is clear, but the same cannot be said for poor Pep and his side.