Man Utd cannot have 'eternal success' warns Guardiola
But Bayern Munich boss also tells David Moyes that managers face 'trouble' if big clubs don't win
BAYERN MUNICH coach Pep Guardiola has ramped up the pressure on Man United boss David Moyes ahead of tonight's Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford by warning the Scot: "In the big clubs when you don't win, always you are in trouble."
As recently as 12 months ago Bayern would have travelled to Manchester as marginal underdogs for a European tie of such magnitude, but now the German giants are firm favourites to leave Old Trafford with the upper hand ahead of the return leg in Munich next week.
Bayern, who last week retained the Bundesliga title with seven matches to spare, had little trouble disposing of Arsenal in the previous round and United aren't expected to offer much more in the way of serious opposition tonight. Currently lying seventh in the Premier League, 17 points adrift of leaders Liverpool, United are experiencing their worst domestic season for a generation, and Guardiola knows it.
"No one can have the secrets to eternal success," said the Spaniard, who guided Barcelona to two Champions League titles during his time at the Camp Nou. "No one can win titles without big players and I was lucky throughout my career to have big, big players. I have a lot of respect for my colleagues and, when Manchester United decided to take David Moyes, it is because they are able to do it. Sometimes you need a little more time."
Insisting Moyes "is a good coach" who "did a good job at Everton", Guardiola nonetheless dismissed the idea that the Scot was bequeathed a bad squad by his predecessor. "I don't know how Sir Alex Ferguson can have a bad influence on this club," he said. "I think it's completely opposite. This club was the best club in England thanks to him... I am pretty sure Alex Ferguson was the most important person in this club's history, at least in the last half-century."
Meanwhile veteran United midfielder Ryan Giggs, only three years younger than Guardiola, believes that the underdogs tag will work in their favour this evening. "We're confident," declared the 40-year-old Welshman, the only survivor of the United side that beat Bayern in the final of the 1999 Champions League. "You need to play well, to get that little bit of luck.. [but] of course it is possible."
Giggs also rejected rumours that he and Moyes don't see eye-to-eye, and that he was frustrated with his lack of game time at Old Trafford. "There is no problem with the manager, I don't know where that came from," said Giggs. "Of course as a player you want to play all the time... but you are not sulking, you just have to be ready to play your best for the team."