Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has sympathised with his counterpart at Manchester United, David Moyes, on a torrid first season in charge of the reigning Premier League champions.
United have blown hot and cold this season and, have failed to impress its supporters, who seem to be fed up with their new manager. A fly-by helicopter campaign calling for the sack of the 50-year-old Scot before the kick-off of Saturday’s win over Aston Villa underlined their waning patience.
Sitting seventh in the league table (ten points behind fourth-placed Arsenal) with six games left, they risk missing out on next season’s European Champions League.
Moyes and his side could avoid such ordeal by clinching the ongoing tournament, but not without beating the reigning Bundesliga and European champions in a two-legged tie- starting with Tuesday night’s cracker at Old Trafford.
“I could also be in his situation one day,” said Guardiola, in his pre-game news conference on Monday. “Football is a fast-moving business these days.”
Guardiola was asked if he was ever approached by Sir Alex Ferguson as a potential successor as manager of United, and he joked that the retired Scot spoke too quickly.
“Maybe I didn’t understand if I received an offer,” he added.
The Spanish boss, who became the sixth man to win the European Cup as a player and as a coach, clinched the Bundesliga title in record time last week and is highly favoured to win Europe’s top tier club football competition for a third time in his managerial career.
The ‘Red Devils’ lost a glorious opportunity to win back to back European titles ( in the Champions League era) under Ferguson to a fired-up Guardiola’s Barcelona team in the 2008/09 season, and now in his first season at the Allianz Arena; Bayern are poised to break the same record.
The manager admits United remains a force in the European football circuit.
“United are one of the world’s most important clubs. They have great players, it’s an honour to be here,” he noted.
The 43-year-old stressed he would continue to keep up the high standards of the Bavarians, who won a treble- in the Bundeliga, German Cup and Champions League- in ex-boss Jupp Heynckes last season.
“The Champions League is not the most important title in the season. The local title is the most important. The Champions League is the most prestigious. We will try but we know how difficult it is. As a coach, it’s important to maintain the success. We won it last season and we look to progress. To do it against Manchester United is a real honour,” he added.