Legendary musician and big Manchester City fan, Noel Gallagher, recently made the bold statement that Sir Alex Ferguson’s reputation may have been overstated, claiming that he “never invented anything”.
In contrast, while calling into Andy Goldstein’s show on talkSPORT, he said that Pep Guardiola has fundamentally “changed football” in the modern era and that, when it comes to who has had more impact on the beautiful game as we know it today, the Spaniard has been far more influential.
Big words, to say the least.
Now, while no one doubts that both managers haven’t just given both United and City fans memories for life but also put Manchester on the map when it comes to sport, arguing the case for who is/was better is a debate that has been raging years and it’s safe to say it split opinion on this occasion too.
As you can see, co-host Darren Bent posed the question of whether winning a treble for City would see the Catalan coach go above Sir Alex Ferguson in the discussion of the greatest manager of all time.
The former Oasis immediately responded, “Alex Ferguson never invented anything. Pep Guardiola changed football”, to which Goldstein quickly corrected, “SIR Alex Ferguson”.
The talkSPORT host wasted no time in coming to Fergie’s defence, remarking: “I mean, he’s won the treble. He’s won 13 Premier League titles.” However, Gallagher countered by saying, “Well, he never did it in any other country, did he?”
Nevertheless, the presenter continued with his argument by stating he thinks “Pep needs to prove himself” with this team on the European stage, noting that “the last time he won the Champions League was 2012… with Xavi, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta”, quipping, “even I could have won [it] with them.”
While Goldstein continued to play devil’s advocate, Gallagher wasn’t willing to let it go either, asking what he has to prove and responding that “‘the greatest manager of all time’ jammed two Champions League finals, one on penalties and one in injury-time.”
Firing back further at the suggestion that Pep won his two Champions League with one of the best squads to ever grace the game in Barcelona and needs to win a European trophy at another club, the 55-year-old said he has absolutely nothing to prove to anyone.
Asking one final question, the United fan said: “For argument’s sake… if he leaves Man City without winning the Champions League, you don’t think will be a failure?” Naturally, his suggestion was met with laughter from Gallagher, who simply replied, “that is mental. Failure? What are you talking about?”
Doubling down on his belief surrounding his impact, the Manc icon insisted Pep “has changed the way that football is played in this country and probably every country he has ever been in”, citing how “everyone [now] plays out from the back. Kids are doing it and they don’t even know what it means, but they do it because he does it. He is a tactical genius.”
Goldstein conceded that couldn’t argue against his tactical knowledge and style of play — though many online have clarified that Pep himself didn’t invent the likes of ‘tiki-taka’ but rather emulated his icon and predecessor Johan Cruff — but said that he still believes “you can’t take anything away from Sir Alex”.
But Gallagher was always going to get the last word in, quipping “Oh, I can. And I will.” Nothing but ‘Berting’.
Moreover, plenty on social media noted that Ferguson did, in fact, do it in other countries; he won three Scottish Premierships and four Scottish Cups with Aberdeen (the last manager to win the league not in charge of Celtic or Rangers) and even won a UEFA Super Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup with them.
Pep still has three more league titles to win if he wants to level with Fergie’s 13 Premier Leagues, let alone his three others in Scotland and his long list of major honours. For many, it’ll take a few more trophies for Guardiola to be considered equal to or above Sir Alex, but what do you think?
Featured Image — Ian Wright/Man United/Man City(via Twitter)
Manchester City’s Matheus Nunes rolls back the years and goes to work at Flat Baker in Ancoats
Manchester City star Matheus Nunes has already impressed many during his short time at the Etihad so far, but he impressed a few more this weekend not with his skills on the pitch but in the kitchen after moonlighting at a popular Manchester bakery, The Flat Baker in Ancoats.
The recent Man City signing might only have the one assist to his name during his time as a Blue thus far, but he’s served up more than a baker’s dozen to local Manc residents thanks to a quick shift as a pastry chef this past weekend.
However, it was by no means his first time in the kitchen, as Nunes revealed that he used to work in a bakery during the earlier days of his footballing career.
Getting put to work on one of The Flat Baker‘s bestsellers, their unbelievably addictive pastel de natas — trust us, they’re utterly sinful these things — the bakery’s owners Débora and her husband, also called Matheus, got the City star back up to speed. You can see the full video here:
That being said, as you can see, the 25-year-old midfielder was a bit of a dab hand after a few goes at it; the fact he not only had prior experience but also shares the same heritage as the bakery’s founders no doubt helped.
Born in Brazil but raised in Portugal — two places where these unmistakable sweet treats are most famous — Nunes explained how he, his mother and English step-father moved to Europe for “a better life” and to help his chances of becoming a footballer.
The former Wolves player went on to explain how he “failed a lot in school” and eventually his mum gave him a choice: “give up football or school, in order to start working”.
Starting out in his godfather’s bakery, he went on to spend a fair bit of time making bread and pastries and even appeared in a similar video back in Portugal after signing for Sporting Lisbon.
Naturally, the trio did eventually touch on football a little bit, with Nunes discussing what it’s like to play under Pep Guardiola and how nice it’s been to arrive at a club where there are plenty of Portuguese-speaking players like Ederson, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and others.
Débora also joked about how he has fared getting used to ‘Rainchester’ and he was polite enough to smile it off and simply reiterated that playing for City was oppurtunity he culdn’t pass up.
So, if things don’t work out in the Premier League, he can always swap the sky blue shirt of city for a lovely chef’s apron and help out over at The Flat Baker.
Featured Image — Manchester City/Sporting Club de Portugal (via YouTube)
Tributes pour in for Manchester City legend and former chairman Franny Lee
Tributes are being paid to Manchester City legend and former chairman Francis ‘Franny’ Lee CBE, who has passed away aged 79.
The ex-Man City, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and England star is said to have passed away in the early hours on Monday morning, 2 October, following a long battle with cancer.
Speaking via a club statement, his wife Gill along with children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik said, “He will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words”.
Both Manchester teams led tributes to the British footballing legend, with avid City fan Liam Gallagher and countless others joining in paying their respects.
Franny Lee scored 148 goals in 330 appearances during eight-year City, helping the club win multiple honours during their first periods of success, including the old First Division title back in 1968.
Born in Lancashire and starting out elsewhere in Greater Manchester at Bolton Wanderers, he also went on to play for Derby following his time with the Blues, helping the Rams to their second-ever title in 1975.
The striker also had 27 caps for England between 1968–1972, scoring 10 goals and winning FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield twice at club level during that period.
Honouring their former centre-forward who went on to serve as Chairman for four years from 1994 onwards, the club statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of former Manchester City player and Chairman Francis Lee, aged 79”, adding that flags around the Etihad Campus are flying at half-mast.
His first club, Bolton, said of the former marksman, “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
As for legacy as for his time in Blue, the club had already planned to immortalise Lee prior to his death, announcing the erection of a statue back in May 2022, the reveal date of which will no doubt be moved up following his passing.
The club has also assured that “more tributes will follow in the coming days.”
Rest in peace to a legend.
Featured Image — Manchester City/England/Bolton Wanderers (via Twitter)