Former England midfielder Steve McManaman believes Pep Guardiola will transform Manchester City but has warned the Spaniard the job at the Etihad Stadium will prove his hardest.
Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich to succeed Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season and is likely to do so while winning a third Bundesliga title in three seasons and possibly the Champions League, having been appointed when they were already the reigning German and European champions.
His three years there came after four in Spain which were so successful his Barcelona team is widely considered the finest in history, but came after he assumed control of a squad in which Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Samuel Eto’o were already prominent.
He played opposite the Spaniard while at Real Madrid when Guardiola was Barca’s captain, and after observing his ability to improve individual players is confident in City’s future.
He is also wary the competition in the Premier League remains intense, however, and believes Guardiola will be vying for success alongside improved Chelsea and Manchester United teams next season.
‘I’m really excited by it, he’s a great coach,’ McManaman, who played for City from 2003 to 2005, said.
“His Barcelona team were great. Regardless of him not winning the Champions League he has improved Bayern Munich, they’re a better team to watch – I know they won the treble (the previous season).
“They’re a great side; their movement is brilliant. I know the players at Bayern really love working with him and he’ll be great for Manchester City.
“I want City want to play really entertaining football. You can’t play like Barcelona but he’ll make them play better, and they’ll be a better team to watch, and I’m really looking forward to how he does it.
“He’ll improve all of them. He’s got this ability to make the players better and be more comfortable.”