This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Writing for The Daily Express, Jermaine Jenas has claimed Pep Guardiola needs to win the Champions League to secure his Manchester City legacy.
The Spaniard has dominated the domestic competitions in his time at the Etihad, and masterminded back-to-back Premier League triumphs.
However, he has failed to guide City to the holy grail of European football’s elite competition, and Jenas has now insisted Guardiola’s current achievements simply match those of Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini.
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He said: “It is eight years since Pep last lifted the biggest club prize with Barcelona. Since then he’s lost at the semi-finals stage three times with Bayern Munich, and in the quarter-final last season with City.
“Pep will feel unfulfilled unless he can deliver that trophy, and this year he’ll go all out to win it. It is the only question mark that anyone throws at him. Pep’s and City’s stats are incredible. 100-plus points, the goals, yeah we talk about that. But they need a Champions League to cap it all.
“Until it happens essentially Pep’s legacy is the same as Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini. They all won Premier Leagues at Manchester City. None of them managed to do the big one. It has got to a point where it has to be the priority.”
If Guardiola were to leave tomorrow, what would he be remembered for at City? Would he be regarded as an unrivalled success for creating a side that now enters into conversations for some of the best teams to ever grace English football? Or a failure for not guiding his near billion-pound squad to the one trophy the club craves most?
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Just like Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, the Spaniard has built something much more than what can be defined in simple terms of titles and cups. City’s unique style of play has revolutionised the way other teams look to play themselves, and the benchmark for ‘attractive’ football has well and truly been lifted.
Even if Guardiola were to miss out on the Champions League in his remaining time at the Etihad, City, and the Premier League as a whole, should have no question in remembering the former Barcelona boss as a true pioneer of the game, and one who made everything and everyone around him better.