After his latest success, Pep Guardiola admits that he will not “chase” Alex Ferguson in the Premier League Manager of the Month award.
The dominant December saw the head of Manchester City win his 11th monthly prize in England and climbed to 3rd place in the all-time rankings.
It sits behind Arsenal legend Arsen Wenger at 15 and Ferguson, the godfather of long-distance rival Manchester United, far ahead at 27.
At his pre-match press conference before the weekend’s meeting with Chelsea Guardiola, he responded to his own rise to 3rd place: “Be careful, Sir Alex, Arsen – I’m going!”
But as soon as he got the news of Ferguson’s 27, his prediction soon changed: “How much ?!
“Okay, it belongs to him.” I will not chase him, for sure. “
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Guardiola also denied the importance of the award and instead praised his soldiers: “This is the easiest award ever.
“The manager of the month has the most points per month. It’s easy. And the reason we won is not the manager, but the players. “
‘Out of this world’
Although City has now taken the 10-point lead at the top of the table, Guardiola has also spoken of his current triangular title fight alongside Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Catalan coach has indicated that this is the first time in his career that he has faced anything other than a single threat – but this is mainly due to the incredible pace set by Jurgen Klopp and himself in recent years.
Guardiola said: “It was Madrid in Barcelona. In Bayern it was Dortmund. Here, yes, in the last few years, it’s been Liverpool and us.
“Now this season, Chelsea.” [are challenging] – but I have to say it’s because Liverpool and Man City were exceptional [previously]. Not because others are wrong.
“United was close, I remember one year.” [Jose] Mourinho and last season especially with Ol [Gunnar] Solskjaer.
“They were really good – but we were exceptional.
“What Liverpool and Man City have done in the last three or four years has not been seen in this country. Never. More than 90 points to be champions when previously it was 78, 82, 86, 87.
“I think Antonio Conte and Chelsea started a bit when they won the league, in my first season here. But then Liverpool and the City took a step.
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“I think they did well, the other rivals – Chelsea, United, Tottenham – did well.” But Liverpool and the City were out of this world.
“I am proud of five years of success. In January, [my players] They are still there in every single competition.
“What happened after we became the champions of the last 10 champions next season? Make a review. The last 10 champions are declining next season and are declining massively.
“We’re there. And that’s the incredible merit of these exceptional players. My job is to give my words for them and tell them the truth.”