Former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott believes Pep Guardiola will remain at the helm until he wins a Champions League title with the club.
City were knocked out of the quarter-finals to Liverpool last season and face Spurs this time around with the two Premier League giants scheduled to lock horns in a fortnight.
Could City win the Champions League this season? Five key things to know…
- Since the Sheikh Mansour era began in 2008 City have won every available trophy except the Champions League.
- Both Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini won the Premier League but were sacked on account of their failure in Europe.
- Guardiola was appointed in 2016 with the proviso of winning club football’s most prestigious title.
- City stand a good chance of lifting the coveted ‘Big Ears’ trophy this term with the club enjoying another productive campaign.
- Guardiola has had another season to understand his squad and will therefore be better equipped to progress past the quarter-finals.
Guardiola’s last Champions League title came eight years ago after his immaculate Barcelona squad beat Manchester United 3-1 in the 2010 final at Wembley.
Since then the European title has eluded him, which has led to Lescott’s assertion that the Catalan coach will not end his City reign until he adds the coveted title to the club’s trophy cabinet.
“I don’t believe Pep Guardiola will move on until he has dominated Europe with Manchester City,” Lescott told Sporting Bet.
“You could say it’s unfinished business as he bids to take their football to a global level. Pep has created so much success at Manchester City in such a short space of time and I believe there’s more success to come.
“Everyone associated with the club wants Guardiola at Manchester City and there would be a lot of disappointed fans, staff and players if he left. I don’t expect Guardiola to look to move anywhere until his contract is up in two years, at least.”
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Lack of experience could cost City – Lescott
Lescott certainly believes his former club have the requisite quality to compete in the latter stages of the continent’s premier knockout tournament, but he fears a lack of European experience could jeopardise their chances of going all the way.
City were noticeably off pace in the previous round against Schalke 04, at least in the first leg, where they scraped past a side struggling near the foot of the Bundesliga.
The second leg was an absolute mauling, but given Schalke’s current plight, the first leg should have been too.
As such, Lescott has intimated there may still be some naivety in the squad, but ultimately believes their quality will shine through.
He said: “Man City could still slip up in the latter stages of the tournament through lack of experience within the squad because not many of the Man City players have as much experience within the Champions League semi-finals.
“It would be a shame as they are definitely ready to win the Champions League.”