Rio Ferdinand hit back at fellow pundit Robbie Savage after the latter dubbed Pep Guardiola the best manager in Premier League history.
It was a night of celebration for City on Tuesday as they were crowned Premier League champions. After a shaky start, they got into their stride and have been unstoppable since. When rivals Manchester United lost to Leicester, it meant City could no longer be caught mathematically.
This is the 10th trophy City have won under the management of Guardiola. He will also lead them in the Champions League final against Chelsea later this month.
It has further enhanced his reputation as one of the game’s greatest ever managers. He has won 32 trophies in total between all his clubs.
City fell off the pace last season, conceding their crown to Liverpool. However, they have restored their position as the dominant force this season.
It left Savage claiming on BT Sport that Guardiola is the best manager in Premier League history.
Savage said: “Pep improves players and that side is incredible.
“For me, the best manager I’ve witnessed in the Premier League.”
However, former United defender Ferdinand – who was a mainstay of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side between 2002 and 2014 – disagreed.
Ferdinand replied: “Sorry, like Chris Sutton said, you should go and get your coat for that.”
However, Savage elaborated: “Listen, the reason I’m saying that, Sir Alex is obviously the record he has.
“But in terms of overall, at Barca, at Bayern, now at Manchester City.
“The way teams from the Premier League down to grassroots play like Manchester City, I’ve never seen anything like it.
“The way he evolves teams. He’s won trophies with teams he should win trophies with, but if he wins the Champions League for Man City, for me, possibly the best ever.”
Guardiola a maverick, says Ferdinand
While he doesn’t necessarily class him as the best ever, Ferdinand does appreciate the job Guardiola has done.
He said: “I think Pep, I love him, he’s a maverick. This season, what he’s done especially, tactically the way he’s changed his team.
“He’s thickened up his midfield, got more bodies in, played with a false number nine. Getting more bodies in the midfield to control the pace of the game, not making it a basketball game, up and down.
“It was more about controlling possession, strangling teams.”
Emphasising what Guardiola may achieve this season, Savage said: “He could win the treble.”
But Ferdinand quipped: “Not the real one though.”
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