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Exclusive: Mikael Silvestre on why Pep Guardiola is nowhere near Sir Alex Ferguson's level yet ahead of Manchester derby

Manchester derby
(Image credit: Getty)

Mikael Silvestre was a Manchester derby regular during his nine year stint with the Red Devils. The Frenchman was brought to the club from Inter Milan in 1999 by Sir Alex Ferguson, widely believed to be one of the greatest managers of all time. 

But times have changed, and it's now local rivals Man City who boast this generation's managerial genius. Yet despite all the silverware Pep Guardiola has claimed with Manchester City, Silvestre believes there's no comparison between the Catalan and his former boss. 

"For Pep to surpass Sir Alex, he needs to say 20 years at the same club and rebuild over and over again," Silvestre, who spoke to FourFourTwo in association with MyBettingSites, said. "He would need to adapt to new players and new trends in football.

"Only then could you put him in the same bracket as Ferguson, because what Sir Alex achieved over 26 years is gigantic. At the beginning he didn’t win trophies, but he found a formula, changed his team and changed his backroom staff so many times. This is where he is unique. Nowadays if you lose two or three games you’re under pressure. Sir Alex came through that and went on to achieve incredible things"

Asked whether current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could do a Sir Alex, and become an all-time United managerial great following a slippery start, Silvestre was supportive.

"It could happen," the 44-year-old said. "He needs time to develop his team. There is no need to press the panic button. The best response after the Liverpool result was last weekend against Spurs. The team showed character and bounced back. As long as they show unity they’ll be fine. I think Ole will get the dressing room on board. They like him and respect him."

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