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Guardiola: ‘Easiest award ever given to Ferguson’

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Guardiola: ‘Easiest award ever given to Ferguson’

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After his latest success, Pep Guardiola admits he ‘won’t be chasing’ Alex Ferguson when it comes to Premier League Manager of the Month awards.

A dominant December saw the Manchester City boss win his 11th monthly England award, rising to 3rd in the all-time rankings.

That sits behind Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger on 15, and Ferguson, the godfather of long-distance rival Manchester United, far ahead on 27.

In his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Chelsea, Guardiola reacted to his own rise to 3rd place: “Watch out, Sir Alex, Arsene – I’m coming!”

But once he heard the news that Ferguson was 27, his prediction quickly changed: “How many?!

“Okay, it belongs to him. I won’t sue him, that’s for sure!

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Guardiola also dismissed the significance of the award, instead praising his troops: “It’s the simplest award there is.

“Most points in a month is Manager of the Month. It’s simple. And the reason we won wasn’t the manager – it was the players.”

‘Out of this world’

Although City have now taken a 10-point lead at the top of the table, Guardiola also spoke about his current three-way title chase alongside Chelsea and Liverpool.

The Catalan coach has suggested it’s the first time in his career he’s faced anything other than a single threat – but that’s mainly down to the incredible pace he and Jurgen Klopp have established in recent years.

Guardiola said: “At Barcelona it was Madrid. At Bayern it was Dortmund. Here, yes, in recent years it was Liverpool and ourselves.

“Now this season, Chelsea [are challenging] – but I have to say it’s because Liverpool and Man City were exceptional [previously]. Not because the others were wrong.

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“United were close, I remember a year with [Jose] Mourinho and last season especially with Ole [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 never been seen before in this country. Never again. More than 90 points to be champions, whereas before it was 78, 82, 86, 87.

“I think Antonio Conte with Chelsea started a bit when they won the league, in my first season here. But afterwards, Liverpool and City took a step.

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“I think they did well, the other opponents – Chelsea, United, Tottenham – they did well. But Liverpool and City were out of this world.

“I am proud of these five years of success. In January, [my players] are always there in every competitive game.

“What happened after being champions, the following season, for the last 10 champions? Take stock. The last 10 champions, the following season, they fall, and they fall massively.

“We’re here. And that’s an incredible credit to these exceptional players. My job is to put my words behind them and tell them the truth.

Guardiola: ‘Easiest award ever given to Ferguson’

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