'Pep Guardiola is no genius manager – he just has the most money and the best players'


Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City, looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on March 31, 2024 in Manchester, England. 

Many people think Pep Guardiola is the greatest manager of all time, but Liverpool legend Graeme Souness doesn't buy into the claims and says the Manchester City boss has "just had the best players"

And Liverpool legend Souness reckons the Manchester City boss's success is all down to him having had the best players - like Lionel Messi. Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.

The Spaniard has won 37 major trophies with three clubs and is the most decorated boss in football history. He won the Treble with City last season - and is closing in on what would be a historic fourth Premier League title in a row this time round.

But Souness believes Guardiola's trophy haul is because he has taken charge of clubs with huge talent and big money to spend on superstar signings. The Liverpool legend told William Hill's 'Three Up Front' podcast : "Pep Guardiola has managed three clubs - and in all of those he has had the best group of players in whatever league he’s been in.

"He took over from Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona, where he had Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and many others. He went to Bayern Munich after they had just won the Quadruple.

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"Then he came to Manchester City, where he took over a side that both Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini had won the Premier League with. He took over an exceptional group of players in every case.

"City are the richest team in England, and they only needed the slightest bit of tweaking when he took over. He obviously manages players very well, but there is no genius there. It is just about having the best players."

The Scottish ex-midfielder, who won five league titles and three European Cups during his time at Anfield, reckons even the most average of managers can win silverware if they have great players at their disposal. The former Newcastle boss added: "If you have the best manager in the world with an average group of players, then you won't win anything.

"If you have an average manager with great players, then you have a chance at being successful. I've been in dressing rooms where everything had been set in stone for the squad by the players that came before us, so the manager barely had to speak to us.

"I'm not exaggerating when I say team talks at Liverpool were sometimes as simple as, ‘today you're playing a team in the bottom three, we're top of the league. If you don't match them for effort they might beat us, but if you do match them for effort, then we'll win'.

"But for that to work, you've got to have top players."

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