Gerard Pique has taken a subtle dig at the Premier League by insisting Pep Guardiola will find it easier to win trophies in England than he has done in Germany.
This season has exemplified the difficulty in winning the Premier League, but Pique doesn’t think his former manager will have any problem bringing silverware to Manchester City.
Guardiola has lifted the Bundesliga title in each of his two seasons in charge of Bayern Munich - and looks set to make it a hat-trick - and the Bavarians have looked a class above their rivals since the Catalan arrived three years ago.
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They won the title by 19 points in 2013-14 and 10 points last season. This time around, Borussia Dortmund have provided stiff competition yet still lie five points adrift of the German champions.
Compare that to England, where Guardiola’s next club Manchester City are 15 points behind the leaders, the reigning champions are 10th and the club that were in the bottom three for most of last season are on the verge of winning the division.
So, Pique’s comments are rather odd.
The Barcelona defender was quoted by FourFourTwo as saying on Periscope: “[England] is much easier than in Germany. Pep will have a lot of options to win in City.”
Quite what has given Pique that impression isn’t clear. The former Manchester United defender played four seasons in England and only managed to win the league once, and that success was by just two points.
Guardiola has won it all
Guardiola hasn’t found trophies hard to come by in his managerial career, winning three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey finals and two Champions Leagues during a glittering spell at Barcelona.
The one blemish is the absence of a Champions League winners medal in his Bayern Munich record.
The Bavarians have been knocked out of the semi-finals of the tournament in each of the past two years and, though they have a chance of winning it this term, there are many who will consider Guardiola’s tenure a failure if he doesn’t lift the European trophy in May.
A failure? No, says Muller
Thomas Muller isn’t one of those, however.
The Bayern man, who scored the equaliser in last week’s thrilling Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus, thinks Guardiola’s time at Bayern will be fondly remembered regardless of what the next few months bring.
“No, not at all,” Muller replied, when asked by Goal if Guardiola’s time might be considered a disappointment. “If you take this approach, every coach who didn't win the Champions League with Bayern would have failed.
“There is not pressure [to win the Champions League]. You cannot plan for the Champions League, the competitors are always overwhelming. It is a big new challenge every year.
“Of course the club and players have certain ambitions and clear targets but winning the title is not a must.”