Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has questioned the validity of Pep Guardiola’s often-regarded status as the current best footballing coach in world football, naming three managers whom he believes are betting than the Manchester City boss.
The Catalan coach has cultivated a reputation as one of modern football’s most succesful managers, owing to trophy-laden spells with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, claiming titles aplenty at all three clubs, including 10 domestic winner’s medals for the latter.
However, Hamann is not having it. The German midfielder-turned-pundit believes current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, as well as Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti can all lay claim to being regarded as the most succesful modern manager — but not Guardiola.
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Ahead of City’s colloquially-dubbed title-decider against Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, Hamann told the Daily Mail: “There are three current managers whom I regard as more successful than Guardiola and I still don’t really get the hype that surrounds him.
“Jose Mourinho has won league titles in four different countries and the Champions League with two clubs, while Carlo Ancelotti’s record is second to none and about to get better if Real Madrid can win La Liga.
“And the third manager? For me, it’s Jurgen Klopp. What he has achieved on the budgets he has at Liverpool is remarkable. He is a truly exceptional manager. His great skill is in integrating players which is a talent Guardiola doesn’t possess in quite the same way.”
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Hamann has highlighted Liverpool’s recent acquisition of Luis Diaz, and Diogo Jota from 2020 as two prime case studies for bulking up the well-regarded reputation of Klopp’s world-class ability to intigrate and develop.
He continued: “When Klopp signed Diogo Jota last season everyone questioned whether he would get anywhere near the team, but he was immediately involved. It’s been exactly the same with Luis Diaz.
“In fact, compare the case of Diaz to Jack Grealish and it goes some way to showing the difference between the managers. We’ve seen players come into the Premier League and you often need six to eight weeks to adjust because it’s a unique game. Diaz came in and he fired immediately because the style suits him.
“Look on the other side, you’ve got Grealish, who cost three times as much yet is struggling to make any sort of an impact. He’s a £100 million player yet he still isn’t fully integrated.
“I wouldn’t have a go at my old club City, who have done fantastic things, they have invested massively, done great things in the community, transformed the area around the stadium. It’s the manager.
“The way Liverpool players speak about their manager, they would run through brick walls for him. I’m not sure City’s players would do the same.”