Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel has added fuel to the fire for this weekend’s Manchester derby by suggesting that Pep Guardiola transformed an exciting Bayern Munich team into a boring one to fit his tactical approach to the game.
Under Guardiola’s guidance, Bayern won three consecutive Bundesliga titles along with the DFB-Pokal twice.
Having taken over from Jupp Heynckes, who took Bayern to the treble — Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal — the Spanish coach failed to win the Champions League in his time there.
“He was okay at Bayern Munich. I have to say he was okay,” Schmeichel told Omnisport.
“For me, personally, he changed a really good, entertaining team to be become more boring to watch.
“Whereas Bayern before were very direct, they won the treble, had quick players and were exciting to watch, he [Guardiola] made them play more square. He changed the players, but you can’t argue with his results.”
Since taking charge at Manchester City, the Spaniard has won his opening three Premier League matches, but the ex-Denmark goalkeeper is unsure if Guardiola can replicate his renowned possession game in England, like he did with Barcelona and Bayern.
“With Pep, he comes in with an incredible reputation. What he did with Barcelona was fantastic, his work was fantastic, but he was also very lucky he had the players to bring in the philosophy that he has in football,” Schmeichel added.
“So whereas [former United manager] Alex Ferguson’s first priority was ‘we have to be able to score goals’ — for most coaches that’s the priority — with Pep it’s possession, I want to have as much possession as possible.
“So the philosophy goes to ‘I want to have so much possession that at some point we’ll score a goal from that, the goals will come from possession’ and that’s his philosophy.
“That’s what we’ll see at Manchester City or he’s going to introduce that. He was very lucky he had the players at Barcelona but he was clever in what he did.
“The Premier League is a completely different animal to any other in the world. It just goes on and on and on, you feel it never stops, even in March you have 12 games to go, you think: ‘Will this ever stop?'”
The two Manchester clubs will go face to face at Old Trafford on Saturday, a first Manchester derby for both Jose Mourinho and Guardiola, who have a longstanding history of bad blood from their time in the La Liga.