DIETMAR HAMMAN: I don’t think City’s players would run through a brick wall for Pep Guardiola like Liverpool’s would for Jurgen Klopp… I just don’t get the hype around the Spaniard
- I don’t think City’s players would run through a brick wall for Pep Guardiola
- However I do think Liverpool’s squad would do that for their boss Jurgen Klopp
- Handlings of Luis Diaz and Jack Grealish prove difference between managers
You can’t question the pedigree of the two great rival managers calling the shots at the Etihad Stadium but I firmly believe that, in terms of achievements, Jurgen Klopp has got an edge over Pep Guardiola.
What these two fine coaches and fierce rivals have done over the last few years is incredible and whoever comes out on top on Sunday afternoon, that won’t change.
When Klopp arrived at Anfield in 2015 and Guardiola at City a year later, the Premier League was hugely competitive and hard to win. In just a few years they have turned it into a two-horse race. I simply wouldn’t have thought it was possible for two teams to dominate the Premier League in the way they have.
I don’t get the hype surrounding Pep Guardiola and the job he’s done at Man City
So is this the Fergie-Wenger rivalry of the modern generation? Well, it used to get a bit more verbal between those two, but in terms of pedigree it’s definitely a fair comparison. But there are three current managers who 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.
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.
Luis Diaz has slotted in seamlessly to life at Anfield – unlike City’s Jack Grealish
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 £100million 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.
I don’t think City’s players would run through a brick wall for Pep like Liverpool’s would Klopp
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.
I always knew Jurgen Klopp was an exceptional manager. I remember talking to Liverpool’s CEO Billy Hogan, he was commercial director at the time, just before Klopp came and I said that he was the guy who could galvanise this club and this city.
Dortmund is a city very much like Liverpool and seeing what Klopp had done there, I just knew he was the right fit for Liverpool. Having said that, did I see the last five or six years unfolding the way it has? Definitely not.
So to turn this club around, to overhaul the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal and Man United on the budget he has, is just exceptional.
You look at all the teams around Europe and I think Liverpool are the pick of the lot. And I wouldn’t swap this manager for any other. Including Guardiola.